Normal. Kind of a comfortable, no surprises, manageable word. We all think of ourselves as normal, it’s those other guys who are odd, and if you don’t agree, you mustn’t be.
But while we think ourselves so, we never introduce ourselves as such. Hey, I’m Vernon; I’m normal. If you have to say it, you mustn’t be.
Every parent prays their womb developing child will just be normal…until they are born so. Then, of course, we expect an athletic, parent-revering Einstein even though the kid has precious little genetic heritage to build such with.
Try to think of a normal anything that’s alive; can’t do it, can you? Sure, you can think of a normal can of Campbell’s Chicken Soup or a normal box of Ritz crackers, but they’re not alive. When I think of my classmates, workmates, family, friends, the thoughts are always of what makes them unique, different, and thus special. There’s probably no such thing as a normal first cousin.
Bottom line: it’s the gift of abnormality then that at minimum makes us memorable, and more often than not, beautiful. Crazy, no?
So, rather than hoping for a normal—aka forgettable—child, we would be wiser to help them positively develop their differences and honestly see those differences as strengths to be proud of.
Our orchards are alive and thus unique. Every one has its own special abnormalities that make them a challenge to manage, yet beautiful when managed to full potential.
Seasons also are memorable for their difficulties rather than how good they are; wet, dry, crop too big, size too small, not enough workers, not enough trucks, destroyed by hail, destroyed by frost, destroyed by bugs. Amazingly however, while we remember all this bad stuff, somehow it always used to be better than now, how can that be?
That car we remember nostalgically rode rough, needed all kinds of maintenance, got half the gas mileage, and was worn out at 100,000 miles. Say what you want about the 8-track, it didn’t compare to Sirius XM.
I look at the farm equipment we used even 40 years ago and it looks like some medieval torture apparatus, yet those were the good ol’ days?
So, how does this year’s crop stack-up, Uncle Vern? Well, it’s been wetter than normal, so sizing should be larger than normal. Rain delivers micro amounts of nitrogen to leaves and roots that act like miracle gro.
Timing looks like it’s back to normal, so you should have tasty, rich apriums the 10th of May.
The crop is quite a bit smaller than normal, especially plums and pluots. That means there is less work than normal, which is a good thing since there are less workers available than normal.
In light of the short crop and the southern states being severely damaged by abnormal freezing during bloom, we could fetch a better price than normal, but preseason optimism is normal.