Me: I threw one away.
Matt: Oh, crap. When I was cooking dinner the other night, I took the battery out of the smoke detector because it kept making all those noises... Because of the smoke...
I hope we don't die in a fiery oblivion before we make it to the grocery store to buy more batteries.
* * *
So GUESS WHAT. No, don't guess, because then I will have to wait for comments that might never come in with guesses that would be probably very not-even-close and I'm not sure that it would be entertaining at all. How about I just write it out and no one guesses? Yeah, that.
I quit my job.
One of them, anyway.
The last few months, I've been photographing, listing, and shipping an estate of vintage movie posters on eBay for an estate liquidator friend of mine. It's rather tedious, mindless, uninteresting and repetitive work, and while it worked for a little while... It's just not working anymore.
The same day I quit that job, I got a new one.
Now I get to be a FARMER two days a week. Well, more like a farm-hand. And really, more like a gardener-hand. But seriously, it's probably the most physically demanding job I've ever had.
No, scratch that. It is DEFINITELY the most physically demanding job I've ever had.
Food Service in college was pretty demanding too, but I was never on my hands and knees for nearly 6 hours pulling weeds in the cafeteria. For sort of obvious reasons.
Which is sort of ironic, because it's the lowest paying job I've had since college.
(I'm also filling in part-time at the bookstore, as well as apprenticing as soap-maker and working two farmer's markets [starting in two weeks! eeee!]. So I'm not JUST a farmer / farm-hand / gardener-hand.)
Last summer, this was what I REALLY wanted to do. I called around and mailed resumes to different farms around the area, but I think farms generally pick from a pool of people they know. Or maybe they just thought I was crazy, or really lame, or maybe I had all the wrong numbers and emails. Who knows? They never contacted me.
This summer, it's happening. I get to be outside in the sunshine [or the rain], working in the dirt. Setting up at farmer's markets, maybe trading soaps for honeys or other goods? I don't know. I'm incredibly and ridiculously excited for this opportunity.
I'm working for a lady named Beth. She is a master-gardener and an old-school herbalist. On Friday, when she was telling me and Cory-Anne what she wanted us to do [pull weeds!], she pointed out the plants that needed to go, and the plants that needed to stay. Beth pulled up one weed, shook the dirt off the roots, and handed it to me. "Shepard's Purse," she said. "You'll learn about that in your apprenticeship, Ayla. It's just a baby right now, but you'll see it later in the season. It's a good herb, but let's get rid of it in this garden because otherwise, it's confusing."
She then pointed out a number of other weeds, identifying them for us, defending their existence, and then telling us to pull them out. Clearly, medicinal weeds have a place in her heart, but not always in her garden. The dandelions stay, she said. They pull up lots of good nutrients and make a good border for the garden and field. The cleavers go. And the horsetail-- God help us-- pull the horsetail. Throw it to the road.
At lunch, we ate quietly, like kids who don't know each other well on the first day of school. Cory-Anne's husband hand-rolled cigarettes; the chickens eyed our food and checked the ground for crumbs. A hugely fat dog ambled over to Beth, and she held his head lovingly in her hands, and told him, "Dover, you're such a good boy, just remember not to eat the chickens." Someone asked, "Does he usually bother them?" Beth replied, "Sometimes he just loses his train of thought and suddenly finds himself chasing them all over, and then Bob has to spend hours looking for terrified chickens in the bushes."
Six hours was all I worked that day. Six hours and my legs, back, and feet were stiff and sore. One day later, and it's like I never started at CrossFit-- my thighs are aching as though I'd done a motherload of squats or something. Beth and Mouse said it will get easier.
Which is good. Because being a farmer? It's kind of exhausting.