LAKE MACBRIDE— With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, thoughts turn to turkey in a lot of households. Unlike during most of our vegetarian holidays, I am dealing with 100 locally grown, free range slaughtered birds tomorrow. Along with others, we are taking delivery from a local farm, sorting and weighing, and preparing them for delivery in the CSA shares next week. I’ve never been a dead (or live) turkey wrangler before, so despite the implications, I am looking forward to a new experience.
We see a lot of wild turkeys near our home. Mostly, they browse in the field near the lane to the highway, or are seen flying over the road. For those of us that remember when Iowa turkeys were an endangered species, it is always a happy sight. But enough turkey talk.
If the farm work has been winding down, it comes to a halt after delivering the final shares on Tuesday. We’ll settle up and settle in for winter. That it’s snowing as I write this post is a sign of the time of year. Confronted with the end of year holidays, it’s time to take stock of home life and work life, and make plans. This year’s planning will be as important as in any previous year.
Home life is patterned by habits formed over a lifetime: more indoor work— cooking, cleaning, writing and reading— and the part of work life devoted to research and development— studying opportunities and determining viability. As with most who live an alternative lifestyle, funding cash flow during 2014 will be a pressing issue, although I am not yet willing to sell plasma to do so.
If 2013 was anything, it was an experiment in lowly paid work, first in a warehouse, assembling kits for Whirlpool, and then on a number of farms. What I’ve found is my aging frame can take the work, but there are limits to how the tendons and muscles can tolerate increased physical activity. I am optimistic about performing physical work in more active jobs.
That said, I don’t plan to return to the warehouse, even though they invited me to return when the farm season was finished. The pay was low, and the social networking not good enough to distill further benefit. So what’s next? That’s the question for answering during the next few weeks. There are ideas, but no plans yet. I am thankful for the ability to be in this position as the snow falls and winter approaches.