Work Life Writing

Digging Out, Getting to Work

Home Made Hot Cocoa

After four hours digging snow in the driveway wind came up and I shut down the operation.

Mid-dig I made a cup of hot cocoa and took a break.

I made it to the road, gaining access for when I leave for a shift at the home, farm and auto supply store in a couple of hours.

The retail store is doing inventory. I expect a day of counting and recounting items with discrepancies between what was found by the scanners and what our computer system shows on hand. The recounting work will take several days.

I texted the farm where I’m scheduled to soil block on Sunday, saying the weather forecast looked dire and asking whether work would continue. The hydrant in the germination shed is usually frozen at this point so we would move soil blocking to the sheep barn where there is running water. It was uncertain she could keep the temperature in the germination shed warm enough to prevent the blocks from freezing at night. She’s researching cold and germination and will make a decision about pushing the schedule back a week by Saturday. The farm published the spring share schedule so the clock is ticking on these starts. The other farm where I work is scheduled to start soil blocking on Feb. 26.

We are having a real winter this year. A winter featuring wild variations in temperature. Variations that make weird noises in the house.

For now, with snow covering the garden, there is little else to do besides work indoors. We draw from the pantry, freezer and ice box for meal ingredients to use food as it nears the end of its storage life. We have a couple pounds of potatoes, a couple of apples, and vast amounts of onions, noodles, canned tomatoes, apple sauce, apple butter, pickles, sauerkraut, and dry goods. We aren’t wealthy but we won’t starve for a couple of months.

This year will be one of transitioning to full retirement. We have our financial structure in place and are gliding into the end of a worklife in society. In many ways, this is what I’d hoped for back in the day of the Whole Earth Catalogue and arguing with conventional farmers in undergraduate school about the efficacy of organic growing. While not in a hurry to complete the transition, we make changes with purpose. Each day taking us closer to what’s next with hope for a brighter future.

I believe we’ll make it.