17 December 2017- Living a Dream

Occasionally, I receive an e-mail that goes like this. “Orion, when are you going to retire? Why do you keep on working at your age?” Several reasons, what else would I do? What would my wife do with me around the house 24/7? My best friend retired three times and failed all three times. All good reasons for me not to retire. But here is the real reason . . . I am still having too much fun to retire! I decided years ago I would retire when I wasn’t having fun anymore. That hasn’t happened yet.

When I wrote my book a few years ago, I entitled it “You Can’t Dream Big Enough” and that was addressed to young people based on my own experience. To make my point, let me share with you what I was involved in just in the past week alone.

Saturday night I traveled to Frankenmuth, Michigan with a television crew to videotape the Christmas Concert of the St. Lorenz Lutheran Church. For years we have featured a country church on our weekly agricultural TV show and every Christmas we produce our program at a country church. St. Lorenz Lutheran Church has an interesting story, founded 172 years ago by German immigrants who settled in the thumb area of Michigan and formed this congregation that has grown to 5,000 members. I had a front-row seat to a great concert.

Tuesday night my wife and I traveled to Washington, D.C. and enjoyed dinner with John Block and his wife. John was Secretary of Agriculture during the Reagan administration and invited me to accompany him on one of the most interesting foreign trips in my career . . . to cover the signing of the U.S.-Soviet Grain Agreement in 1984. We have relived that trip many times over the years.

Wednesday, I sat with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in his office for 90 minutes to do something I have done at the end of the year for more than 40 years; interview the current Secretary for a look back at the year just ending and a look ahead to the year about to begin. Secretary Perdue is a warm and friendly person with a deep knowledge and love of agriculture. But again, this dairy farm kid from Wisconsin could have never dreamed that one day he would be sitting in the office of the Secretary talking about agriculture.

Then the week ended Saturday for Gloria and me with a trip to Westby, Wisconsin for a Family Christmas dinner with my sister, nieces and nephews at the Old Towne Inn where you will find the best fried cheese curds and brandy old-fashions on the planet. It doesn’t get any better than that, so I will just keep working and having fun, thanks to all of you. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.