“You can have a lot of fun in a New York minute but there’s some things you can’t do inside those city limits. Ain’t no closing time, ain’t no cover charge, just country boys and girls getting down on the farm.” Lyrics excerpted from “Down on the Farm”, recorded by American country music artist Tim McGraw, circa 1994.
For those in search of information concerning a hoedown throw-down, incorporating beer kegs, pickup truck tailgates, tractor-chicken contests (see Footloose, 1984), rolls in the hay and/with a variety of livestock with a countrified soundtrack… refer to the Farmer’s Almanac. So you can plan your event during good weather, with proper planting times provided. For references to what sorta passes for farm work and the after effects thereof…
My 5 day outlook begins at 5am for the duration of 40+ hours. Afternoons overbooked with daily chores, family activities and hangin’ with the live-in grandkid. Of my better half, since the 2020 Coronavirus quarantine Lil’ Red (the spouse o’ Saw) now works from home. Customer-servicing away late into the afternoons in her dining room office, located in the house’s main thoroughfare. Her locale makes the aforementioned afternoon activities a bit of a challenge. Nerf battle royales, microwaving leftovers and washing handfuls of recovered golf balls in the kitchen sink (more on that in future columns) is frowned upon. More oft than not the request/command to “Find something to do outside!” is issued.
As the weekend rolls ‘round, half of it is already lost. Red works the Sunday schedule and as for myself — works on what you’re reading now. This leaves Saturday as the only free day, which it never seems to be. So much to do, so little time to do it in, all in vain hopes of finishing with a small slice of day left to share.
There’s a house to tear down and recycle. A barn to clear out and rebuild… with parts from the house, I suppose. Lawn to reclaim — let go by previous tenants; land to clear, flowerbeds to fill, painting, cementing, trimming, raking, mowing… and, of course, tending to the livestock.
We have one livestock. Wendigoat, a small fainting goat, and she was overdue for an extension to her paddock. Goats can clear any area in short order and she had. In addition, new additions to our livestock +2 were planned in the coming months. So space for an almost-herd was necessity.
The plan was simple. Run one section of fence each week; clearing away the extensively overgrown briars, bramble and underbrush along the way. Thus, when it was baby-kid time, we’d be ready. But before we could begin my father-in-saw showed up, changed the plan and went above and beyond “begin”.
“One section” quickly turned into the whole damned thing. Each obstacle met with a solution. We don’t have enough posts — he brings a tractor-bucket load. We’ll need more fencing — another bucket load. There’s that one section that…a large aluminum pasture gate arrives… via bucket. Geez, is there a secret Home Depot in your barn?
With his help, dragging the fence, pressing the corner post in (via the bucket) and knowledge of the lay of the land, short work was made of a potential month of drudgery. By afternoon the task was complete, leaving Wendi with a pasture 4 times its original size, myself with thankfulness and admiration for my second father-figure, and us with satisfaction of a job well done… and pain.
OMFG — everything hurt! Back’s sore from lifting, knees swollen from kneel/squatting, arms rubberized from swinging 5 lb sledges, fingers aching from pulling fence taught… geez-us even my toes hurt…and they were just along for the ride. We staggered exhaustedly inside like crippled, asylum loonies, with complaining comments of, “Let’s never do that again!” compellingly countered with, “We should do that more often!”
What?!? We should clear and fence an acre of goat lot more often? Are you insane??? We’ve a limited supply of acreage and only one friggin’ goat.
No. Be active more often… on the regular. So when we need to be, it’s not so strenuous. This logic cannot be denied. It’s not always fun but the best way to keep moving is to keep moving. There’ll be time for watching 1956’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers after the sun has set.
I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya.