Time speeds up as the years go by

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This morning, the sun is finally shining and the faint sound of chirping birds has been music to the ears.

The remnants of what we hope will be the last snow of the season remains, stubbornly, at the base of the huge old trees outside my window.

By the end of this day, I am hoping it will be gone for good and we can officially begin celebrating spring.

The passage of time seems to be one of Mother Nature’s funny little tricks. How is it that while winter seemed to move at an agonizingly slow snail’s pace, the overall passing of time seems to be on some whirling dervish fast track?

I turned the calendar to April to mark a couple of important appointments and it hit me that it was three years ago when we first came to visit and view this farm. Three years! It simply does not seem possible.

And on April 10, we will celebrate our silver wedding anniversary. How can that be? Twenty-five years, gone by in a flash.

Two children in college. Impossible. It seems just a few short years ago that we brought those tiny babies in to the world.

Time passes by in the blink of an eye. While we are busy working, planning, playing, laughing, laboring, sweating, smiling, grumbling and surviving, the days tick by. Winter slows the pace a bit, but the pages of the calendar keep on flying out the window.

I remember one spring morning like it was yesterday. My great-grandpa Charlie pulled his bright red handkerchief out of his overall pocket and wiped the sweat from his brow. He commented that time was most certainly flying if it was suddenly warm enough to work up a sweat.

“Where did winter go?” he asked, looking down at me. “Time is just going by so fast I can hardly believe it,” he said as he put his handkerchief away.

I was stunned by his assessment, because it seemed I had been waiting forever for spring to arrive, and with it, a birthday celebration for me.

While the two of us shook out bales of straw for bedding of the milking herd, I told him my feelings on this.

He then said something that stuck with me as he leaned on his pitchfork.

“You just wait, little girl. When you get older, time goes faster and faster till you think you just can’t even keep up.”

Grandpa Charlie could tell some real tall tales and I figured this was just another one. How could it possibly be true? My last birthday seemed forever ago and I was dying to turn one year older.

Grandpa Charlie would have been in his early 80s and he stubbornly stuck to his guns on this one.

“You mark my words! I know what I am talking about,” he insisted.

I chalked it up to being old and forgetful.

One of my dad’s aunts, who visited shortly after this, pinched my cheeks and said, “My, how you’ve grown! And you are about to have another birthday? Why, it seems like just yesterday we were celebrating your birthday! Goodness sakes, how time flies!”
I thought they all were a bit daft.

I was absolutely sure I had not grown a bit and my last birthday seemed about 100 years ago, I thought to myself as I rubbed my cheeks, pink from the pinching they had just endured.

Now, I have suddenly joined their league. I find myself saying much the same things to my nieces’ and nephews’ children and I hear the jingle of their own thoughts as they oh-so-politely smile at me.

Inside they hold back the desire to roll their eyes as they think to themselves, “Crazy old aunt. What is she saying?”

One thing I have managed not to do is pinch any cheeks. That was just never one bit fun.

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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, in college.

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