The Last Windrow: This cynic will believe in spring when he sees it

Columnist John Wetrosky talks about trying to stay positive

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"I'll believe it when I see it!"

Have you ever heard that phrase? I have. And I've heard it a lot more lately whenever the weatherman on TV forecasts an end to this year's never-ending winter.

I was brought up to be kind of cynical. Ask my wife. I can take a positive thought and put a question at the end of it.

The exercise comes from my farm upbringing, I think. I am not cynical naturally; I've been taught. When I was a fair-haired kid with hair, I thought the world was my oyster and that anything was possible.

That lasted until I was about 5 years old. It was downhill after that.


I want to think the best when someone espouses some positive thought. I want to believe in fairy tales.

But my nature is to wonder why those positive thoughts should be positive in the first place. In my experience there always has been the other side of the moon.

Perhaps I developed some of that feeling when I played Little League baseball. No matter how good I was at hitting corn cobs out of the park behind the barn, when I got up to the plate some no-name pitcher would manage to hurl a fastball past my bat.

After more than a few strikeouts, one tends to question his prowess, no matter how much practice he or she has had. When your coach tells you that you'll do better as you play a few more games and that doesn't happen — well, you get a bit cynical.

I was given a pig to raise as a 4-H project. She was a good looking sow with potential, I thought. I carefully raised her to full maturity and eagerly looked forward to her first batch of piglets, which I knew would bring me a bounty of money.

My sow went into labor and dutifully produced nine black and white babies. Then one morning when I went to feed her, I found that she had managed to lay on six of the nine and only three remained alive.

My thoughts of financial glory rapidly vanished when I put pen to paper and found that after feeding these three to shipping weight, I was about to lose money.

I grew a bit more cynical through the exercise.


For a time, my cynical nature was broken when the Minnesota Twins finally won a World Series in 1987. I was born in 1946, so that's a lot of years to wait for a championship. Kind of a lifetime.

But, they did win and won again a few years later. My cynicism ebbed a bit.

I'm still working my way through the Vikings, the T-Wolves and the Wild. But maybe one of them will break through. I'm not so sure.

This Easter morning the weatherman is predicting an end to our never-ending winter. Soon, he says, temps will warm, the grass will turn green, the tulips will poke above the turf and the swallows will return to Capistrano.

I might be believing the thing about the swallows, but those other three things? I'll believe it when I see it.

But I'm hopeful. Does that sound the least bit positive?

See you next time. Okay?

John Wetrosky
John Wetrosky (2022)

Opinion by John Wetrosky
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