It’s true. At some point in the past ten or eleven years, I turned into a city girl. Or if not a city girl, I’m at least a suburban girl. I am NOT cut out for life in the country. That doesn’t change the fact that I’m currently staying with my parents until I find a job. And this place of my parents’ is very much… not city… uber-country. I’m not really sure how to describe my parents’ place except to say there are tractors, fences, cows, chickens, and a garden three times the size of my first apartment. It’s a farm, but I don’t usually partake in the farm bits. I stopped participating the first time they butchered a cow on the property.
But somehow today I found myself back in the farming biz. I really don’t know how it happened. It’s not as if my dad asked me for help. It’s not as if I offered. Basically, I was told that my sister and I were helping pick up hay at 7:00 Friday morning, today. I didn’t kick or scream like I would have a few years ago. I figured, why not? It’s an adventure. But adventures aren’t always fun. Sometimes, you end up on a train to Wroclaw instead of Warsaw. Sometimes, you arrive at your destination point without a place to stay. And sometimes you get roped into picking up hay thinking it’s going to be a fun day and then you remember the sweat and heat involved in this tedious task.
Though he pretends to enjoy cutting hay, I don’t think my dad is at his best when he’s doing this. For one, today he forgot to put on deodorant and I could smell him from five feet away. For another, when he’s in the zone of doing hay, he stumbles on the unlevel field, forgets to drink his water, and completely loses track of time so he doesn’t eat until 6 PM. It’s INSANE. At about 2 PM today, I was grumpy. It was hot and my crazy white skin can’t take the heat. I thought I was going to die of heat stroke. I know I can be a bit melodramatic, but honestly, I was miserable. This is how I know I’m not even the least bit Jewish. I could not handle wandering 40 years in the desert. I would run away, bury myself in the sand, or build an airplane out of my spit.
When I hit grumpy stage, my dad noticed. “Are you tired?” he asked with a chuckle.
My response was not that sugary. “I’m hot and hungry,” I grumbled. That’s when he looked at the clock. His eyes grew twice their size and he drove me home. I went swimming. This healed me. My mood was better. Then I ate something and I was happy. My dad came back for about twenty minutes and wanted to head back out into the field. I made him eat something first. He did and it was as if the deflated balloon discovered air again.
I know why I’m not cut out for farming. It takes away from my writing time, it ruins my skin, and I don’t like the way the hay or sheep wool make my skin itch. I wish I could get in the farming thing again, but I can’t. I’m too shoesy for it. Shoesy of course means that I’m concerned enough with my shoes that I will not walk through a field that might have cow poop in it. There is a reason for this. When I was in about third grade, my mom bought me a new pair of pink Keds. My sister, friend, and I were walking in the field and my shoes sunk into the cow manure. My new pink shoes were no longer cute and girly but a manly diarrhea green-brown color. I won’t let that happen again. Shoes trump country upbringing. End of story.