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Tales of a hay hauler: Age vs. the alphabet

Brad Nelson for Progressive Forage Published on 30 April 2022

“A” is for apple – remember learning the letters primer? How’s about an age-appropriate alphabet, starting with each letter’s relevance first to a very young person, then older, then full blown adult, then “second childhood”?

A is for Adorable, Adolescent, Alfalfa, Adulting (can be hard), Aches and pains. Aged (When do I quit complaining about being old and start bragging about how long I’ve lived?)

B is for Burping, Bike, Bunions and “Bedtime is nice.”

C is for Crawling, Chewing, Cooking, Cows (It was a breakthrough to let the cows eat the grass, then both take the milk from the cow and eat beef instead of eating grass and bushes.) Complaining? (not the same as Cantankerous). Computer (better than balky mules or kicking cows or the game of golf to destroy one’s vocabulary improvement program).

D is for Diapers, Disco, Dust bunnies, Dancing, Decongestant, Doctor (Are we spending our golden years driving each other to the Doctor?) Dinosaur (What Grandpa drives. Pickup is old enough for its own driver’s license; Lincoln is old enough to vote.)

E is for Early bedtime, Eating. Earning a living, Eccentric (if you have money; otherwise, see “village idiot”). Early bedtime.

F is for Funny (everything is – ), Fuming, Farming, Figuring out how to make things work, Fuming. Flying tools (warning sign on shop door).

G is for Grumpy. Growing (like the food bill), Growing (Those shoes fit you fine two months ago when we bought them.) Girlfriend (Every man should have a girlfriend. See wife and lover.) Gracious. Grumpy (gravy on shirt).

H is for Happy, Hiccups, Hungry (a teenager is always – ), Hairy (too much or too little), Hernia, Hearing aids.

I is for Innocent, Indolent, Independent, Indigestion, Indolent.

J is for Jammies, Journal, Job, Jokes (you have to explain).

K is for Kinky, Kinda annoying, Kind (It’s OK if the neighbor’s dog likes you; it’s not OK if the neighbor’s wife likes you – ), Knowing (Grandpa/Grandma knows everything) and back to Kinky.

L is for Lovable, Learning (not having to get burned on the stove to believe it when told it’s hot), Loyal, Lover (see wife and girlfriend), Long life (bragging).

M is for Mommy (can fix anything), Moody (teenager angst), Money (never enough) and back to Moody. Memories (like when the smell of diesel changed your perspective on what was important to do first, from getting the truck out of the mud it was stuck in to stopping the flow of diesel from the broken underside fuel cross-over line between tanks).

N is for Nocturnal, Needy, Nosy (you fill in the blank – ), Noisy, Nocturnal.

O is for Owly (everything is brand-new), Overworked, Overweight, Overwhelmed, Old (How’d I get so flippin’ old?)

P is for Pretty cute, Precious, Progressive Forage, Procrastinating, Prostate (see nocturnal). Pills (enough to put in a bowl, add milk and sugar, and just eat like breakfast cereal)

Q is for Quiet (never), Quiet (not good, especially when asking “What are you doing?” and the answer is “Nothing.”), Quantity (I thought I had more of these – ), Quirky, Quality (of life).

R is for Ready (just not ready for a nap), Riot (can be good or bad, situation and sense of humor determinate), Resourceful (If Grandpa can’t fix it, we’re SOL.) Retired (be the last one to go to bed at night and there’s a better chance for an uninterrupted sleep).

S is for Snuggly, Studious (we hope), Snuggly (teenage version scary, like to send her off on a date in coveralls made of sand burrs), Snuggly (good sign the spouse likes you), Sturdy, Sound asleep.

T is for Terrible twos (hope they get over this stage before 20), Tedious (homework,) Treacherous (dating, any age), Tightwad, Tired.

U is for Upset tummy, Ugly self-image (Remember the first pimple?) Uncoordinated, Unflappable, Unified (with family or co-workers), UFO (Friend moving to a remote ranch 100 miles north of Area 51, on a dirt road, buzzed by something 200 feet wide flashing all manner of lights. Neighbor told him it’s just the Air Force playing with a B-52 and ground-following radar.)

V is for Volume (of infant or toddler shrieking), Verbal, Vital (“Where’s Mom?”), Vitamins, Village idiot (see Eccentric).

W is for Wet (diaper), Wants (food, car, privacy, more food), Wiser (than perceived when kids were teenagers), Wife (At my house the Wife, Lover and Girlfriend are the same person. Multitasking.) Wiser yet.

X is for X-Men, “Xtra” money, X-rays.

Y is for Yo-yo, Youth, Yearning (as you move forward, sometimes for what you left behind), Years (yet to reach a goal or spent to acquire a skill or degree), Yo-yo.

Z is for Zany, Zestful, Zoo (the one you’re living in) and back to Zany. end mark