How You Define ‘Normal’

Between strands of red hair wrapping themselves around my face in the gale, wind light breeze, I saw a guy getting ready to fly a kite on the campus lawn. A perfectly normal thing to do, I think. Most people have flown kites, right?

Except that I haven’t. I’ve never even touched one. I’ve watched other people fly kites – in a very non-creepy, walking-down-the-sidewalk type of way. I also wasn’t on a roller coaster until I was a sophomore in college, and I’ve never had cotton candy.

Normal things – or supposedly so. (I’m not sure who sets the definition of ‘normal’ these days.)


But normal for me? When I was growing up, normal was dodging calf nuts, sunrise horseback rides, and baking hot afternoons on the tractor. It was a trip to town every two weeks to get groceries. It was learning to drive on a stick shift, checking cows in three feet of snow, and pushing calves through the chute.

You have to be careful how you define ‘normal’ and what you assume other people know and have experienced. Putting a box around people and labeling it ‘normal’ is dangerous. Both for those of us in agriculture telling our story about our livelihoods and those outside of agriculture looking for information and answers.

By the way, April is National Kite Month. Maybe 2011 is the year I put an old shirt on the end of a string and watch it float through the clouds.

Image courtesy Coastal Harp


  1. I’m kind of the same way. Is it normal that I get along better with my cattle, horses, and dog than I do other people? I sure think it is.

    Good luck flyin that kite. Just don’t let go.

    • Glad to hear I’m not the only one who defines normal that way. Will definitely work hard to not let go of the kite. I don’t want to be that girl.

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