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Last Bits of Work

Bangkok Peppers
Bangkok Peppers

Two hours before my shift at the orchard I was feeling punk. I went to work anyway.

While ringing up a dozen customers I felt light headed and a bit nauseous so my supervisor sent me home. She didn’t want whatever I had to infect other workers. Good call on her part.

After two four-hour sessions of sleep, I feel much better and am ready to head over again later this morning. Before I do, some last thoughts about this 96-hour staycation in Iowa.

I’m lucky to have worked a full career that paid our mortgage and helped put our daughter through college. There are plenty of people who work low-paid jobs like mine who don’t have that kind of financial platform for support. To make up the difference between income and operating expenses we’ve taken on some debt. We feel it’s manageable and have a plan to pay it off. Like most anyone should, we watch our cash flow. We also have been able to weather multiple challenges in recent years that would have sent others to the poor house if such a thing still exists.

Everything on my “deal-with list” has been addressed. Some things — car repairs, understanding and signing up for Medicare, writing about the Cedar River flood — came easily. Others — financial planning, longer writing projects, producing value from life as a sixty-something — present longer term challenges. What I wrote on Sept. 11 proved to be useful.

The key to dealing with this and everything else on my deal-with list is to take care of myself and not freak out. That I have this blog helps with the not freaking out part. There is solace in work.

I haven’t freaked out and am taking better care of myself as the staycation ends.

Sliced Red Zeppelin Onions
Sliced Red Zeppelin Onions

Canned goods were moved to the lower level where the storage rack is once again full. The production was less than in previous years, but focused on items we will use well over the coming months. Gardening is a perpetual process and this year produced in abundance. The trouble was August when I worked four jobs without adequate time to reap what I sowed. It was a learning point more than disaster and local farmers helped me make up for what was missed at home.

Remaining is fall yard work, home maintenance, financial planning, and most importantly writing. The reason for retiring in July 2009 was to enable my writing. I’ve gotten better at it and am ready for something longer, maybe book-length, which can be promulgated. That and ensuring our sustainability in a turbulent world remain on the deal-with deescalated to to-do list on my white board.

Better prepared to tackle today’s challenges, I’m hopeful. Hopeful about the lives of family members. Hopeful about the community of friends and acquaintances we’ve built here in Big Grove. Hopeful our country will make sound decisions during the Nov. 8 election.

Whatever the outcomes, the brief vacation this week helped get me back to who I am. I’m thankful for that and ready to engage in society again.