Farm life means projects; lots and lots of projects. Farmers need to become a “Jack of all trades” because a life of farming also means eking out a living, so hiring people to do all of the projects would be financial suicide.
If I’ve learned one thing about working the land, it is that being a farmer means daily injuries and questionable workmanship quality. I won’t include Steve in the “questionable quality” jab; I take top honors in that department. Steve is meticulous in everything he does. He insists on doing this strange ritual of reading directions before taking on a project. I believe that any paper included in a box is just extra packaging; no need to read what any of it says. And who wants to put on reading glasses to find out how best to plant the seeds I have in my hand; just toss them in the dirt and cover them up! Steve is on the other side of the green house with a tape measure citing three separate sources of the importance of proper spacing.
Steve is also really big on “research”……….whatever. I am the type who just “wings it”. How surprising that I usually have less than optimal success using this method. Steve spends hours exploring how best to accomplish all things related to farming. I sometimes hear guttural sounds coming out of his office. I go in fully expecting to see him salivating over an X rated video, but instead find him watching some dude in overalls demonstrating the best way to eviscerate a turkey. Okay, there might still be some salivating going on because Steve loves this shit that much.
Steve thrives on order, while I can function in chaos. I am just as content skipping to step three, while I am certain that Steve would have a heart attack even considering such heresy.
Steve and I may approach our daily tasks from different perspectives, but we share one common absolute: at some point during any project, one of us will be bleeding. It is just a given. And I don’t know why, but the kids keep giving Steve all sorts of knives as gifts. He has yet to own one for a week and remain puncture free. I can script it. Steve opens the knife, begins to use if for it’s intended purpose, starts swearing and heads inside to get a bandage. Then he spends the remainder of the day bitching about how “they need to invent better band aids that won’t keep falling off”.
I, on the other hand, seem to get injured just by breathing. One minute I am carrying cinderblocks and the next my finger somehow ends up slammed between two of them. I take a whack at a t-post and the next thing I know I am horizontal, face first in the dirt. I truly believe I am focusing on drilling in a screw and before I know it, I am drilling my finger instead. So I have come to the conclusion that farm work = injury. It seems silly to even begin the day believing it will go any other way. So it has become a fact……it isn’t considered work until someone is bleeding.