It had been a long day for Dave. He had spent it combining beans, or at least trying to combine beans. A flat tire on the grain cart and then sheared bolt inside the combine had consumed the entire afternoon. By the time he was ready to start again, there was a brief rain shower and then the day was over.

Throughout the day Dave had listened to the radio. At noon he watched the market updates on TV and caught up on national news. Over the last few months, Dave had tried to stay on top of all the things happening in his neighborhood and around the country.

At 10 p.m. it was time for bed, and Dave checked the markets again on his phone before laying down. He usually fell asleep in just a few seconds but tonight he rolled from side to side trying to get comfortable.

His alarm clock said 11 p.m., and then it said midnight.

Finally, Dave fell asleep and immediately began to dream. Some people believe the unresolved issues of your day are worked out in our mind as you dream. Dave’s mind was now ready to resolve his issues and led him through a series of strange events.

In his dream, Dave was combining beans again. When he reached the end of the field the grain cart was not there, but there was an orange 200-bushel wagon. He swung the unloading auger out and began to unload. After transferring 100 bushels of beans, Dave was surprised to see the unloading door was open on the other side of the wagon and the beans were spilling out on the ground. He quickly shut off the auger and climbed down to close the wagon door.

After getting the door shut, Dave looked around to see where the rest of his crew was. He couldn’t see anyone but noticed a bicycle leaning up against the side of the wagon. Without thinking, Dave hopped on the bike and headed down the gravel road. He had not gone far before he met by his wife in their pickup.

With great urgency Dave’s wife told him to get in the truck and that they needed to go to a political meeting. Dave protested, telling her he was still combining beans, but she would have none of it. They drove to one of their neighbor’s farms and walked into a large machine shed.

Dave was shocked to find a large crowd inside. There was a stage up front with signs on the back for both Trump and Biden. Several people spoke passionately to the crowd, but it was impossible to tell who they were supporting. After listening for a while, David worked his way through the crowd and back outside again.

As he walked out the door, he was surprised to see his mother-in-law. Dave hardly recognized her because she had dyed her hair pink and was dressed in black from head to toe. She told Dave they needed to go shopping and she needed a ride to Walmart. Without thinking Dave found himself driving her into town.

After arriving in the parking lot Dave realized he had no face mask with him. His mother-in-law began to chastise him for his insensitivity and lack of concern for others’ health. As Dave was being chewed out in front of the store entrance, a friend he hadn’t seen since high school along with several other people approached them.

His friend’s group were there to protest the requirement that people wear masks. They told Dave it infringed upon their constitutional rights. Soon his mother-in-law and the small group were in a heated discussion outside the entrance. Suddenly, the police arrived and pepper-sprayed the arguing groups and his mother-in-law was taken away in handcuffs.

Dave now found himself heading back home. The night air had turned cold and chilly. As he drove the last mile back to the farm, snow flurries started to hit the windshield. By the time he got back to the machine shed the ground was white. Dave parked his truck and was amazed that it could snow so much in September.

Dave suddenly felt ill. He headed for the house and by the time he made it in the door, he was cold to his bones. He took off his coat and he settled into his favorite recliner. His wife appeared and said that he didn’t look very good. She brought him a blanket and some chicken noodle soup.

After only a few spoonfuls, Dave’s stomach was upset and he quickly made his way to the bathroom with only moments to spare. As he sat on the floor, he wondered what else could go wrong with his life.

Out in the kitchen he could hear the phone ring and his wife was talking to someone. Soon she opened the bathroom door and handed him the phone. Dave was not in the mood to talk to anyone but soon found himself in a discussion with his banker.

For some unknown reason Dave needed to refinance his operating note and repay his PPP loan money. Then his banker was yelling at him, complaining he had not signed up for the latest government program. Dave found it hard to believe that even in the bathroom there was no escape from the worries of the world. Dave wondered if he had the coronavirus and if anyone was concerned for his health.

At the point of exhaustion, Dave woke up from his dream. It was now morning — 5 a.m. — and he felt drained after a long night of roller coaster experiences. While his wife was still sleeping peacefully beside him, he carefully got out of bed and headed to the kitchen.

Pouring a glass of orange juice, he walked into the living room and settled into his favorite recliner. He was prepared to turn on the TV to see what was happening in the news.

With his finger poised above the button of the remote control, Dave stopped and told himself perhaps he needed a little break from all the news. As he sat and reflected on the events in his dream, he concluded he was wound up a bit too tight over many issues which he had little or no control over.

Dave realized that he was expending a lot of his energy and time absorbing all that he saw and heard on the news. Many of the things happening around him could be viewed from different perspectives and even reasonable people could come to completely different conclusions.

Dave came to his own conclusion that he would soon snap and say or do something that he would later regret if he did not have a little more patience. He decided he would focus more on his family and farming then following all the things happening around him.

As sipped his orange juice and waited to watch the sun come up, Dave felt peaceful sitting in his living room. Soon his wife was up and they both chuckled together as he shared the events from his dream.

After eating breakfast, Dave prepared for another day of bean harvesting.

Bob Dunaway and Associates offer estate and retirement planning. Gary Johnson can be reached at 563-927-4554 or by emailing him at