Work Life

Into Fall

Box of Onions
Crate of Onions

The first leaves on our Autumn Blaze maple tree turned over the weekend — a reminder of summer’s imminent end.

A lesson learned this season was of the limits of worklife and the tendency to let personal things go when engaged in a big endeavor.

The garden, yard and house cleaning fell to the bottom of the priority list as I worked four jobs. It is ironic that in a year when my skills as a gardener improved, I was unable to keep up with the weeding and harvesting, which when combined with the lack of mowing for a month, created a jungle in our back yard. The birds and rabbits may be happy, but I was not.

Harvesting will continue. The garden paid for itself many times over. The question is what level of abundance is enough? I’m already thinking about preparing the plots for winter. It won’t be long before I pull the plants, stack the cages, roll up the fencing and mow. It assuages my guilt from leaving so much produce — tomatoes and pears especially — in the field.

Thunder and lightning blew past the orchard Sunday afternoon and I was released from work early. Because of the lightning, I skipped the greenhouse work at the farm — we don’t work when there is lightning. The storm created an opportunity to rest and after finishing my last post during Trish Nelson’s hiatus from Blog for Iowa, I did.

This week I hope to finish the onion trimming work and move on to what’s next. The presidential election is sucking up oxygen, so dealing with that is out there.

More importantly, what do I want to do next with my remaining years.

I used an on-line life expectancy calculator which determined I have a 75 percent chance of living past age 80, with an estimated life expectancy of 87 years. If that’s true, there’s a lot of living to do.

It will take a full day, maybe two, to clean up the tangled mess the yard and garden have become. Some time — not too much — must needs be spent learning to choose my occupations wisely.