I’ve been tempted to post an “out of office” note here–though knowing my own tendencies I would likely begin blogging three times a day simply because I said I wasn’t going to. Instead of that, I’ll just say posts may be a bit more sporadic for an indeterminate length of time (and yes, I know they have been already).
This is the time of year when I feel that things should be wrapping up, closing down, getting put up and put away. But the grind of life keeps up as always. Coursework is heavy with critiques and grading, and the new courseware that we’ve been using has more than its share of glitches.
Yesterday morning, while attempting to send e-mails and grade papers, server errors kept cropping up and causing me to lose whatever I was working on at the time. I finally gave up, called in a report to IT, and headed out to the farm for a couple of hours to work on fertilizing and turning the beds.
The physical work is a balm to me in stressful times. I won’t say that I’m never out there grumbling to myself and hacking away at projects in a foul mood, but most of the time the stresses fall away as I see the results of my ongoing labor clearly, and know that the preparation I do now will lessen the spring’s burden.
Farming can, of course, be incredibly stressful when the transplants need to go in or they’ll die in their flats–when it’s not raining or when it won’t stop raining, when the weeds are waist-high, when the bindweed is taking over or the mower won’t run.
But this time of year, it’s no longer about keeping up with Mother Nature’s full-tilt growing season pace, so the work has more of a relaxed quality about it than in the spring and summer and early fall.
Working in the gardens this time of year is a meditation. It’s a time-out from figuring how best to deal with the new kitty we’re boarding for an indefinite length of time in terms of the jealous dog.
It’s a time-out from figuring out when I’m going to make those phone calls for DRA or deal with the ongoing grind of the dishes and laundry and meal preparation and dust and dog hair.
It’s a time-out from wondering when the furnace installers will call, and worrying that it won’t be done in time to get the rebates. And wondering when I’ll have a half-day to sit down and compile the final grant report for the market, or the vendor list for the Department of Revenue.
It’s a time-out from stressing about massive grading projects and critiques and student evaluations in the face of courseware glitches and book issues that are out of my control.
It’s a time-out (sort of) from worrying about my boy and about how the upcoming custody evaluations and court case will turn out, even if I’ve convinced myself that I am doing what needs to be done–what’s best for him–no matter how it turns out.
And it’s a time out from feeling betrayed by a market vendor to whom I was a friend–invited into my home, fed, and comforted when she was upset–and who decided to start her own after-market using our signs and location without permission. And then bad-mouthed me to the other vendors–saying I was “against” them.
I took a break from all that yesterday morning and was able to ferry manure to and turn seven beds in the space of a couple hours–there’s three more in that west garden to finish, and it looks as though I’ll have some left-over manure in that pile to use in another part of the garden as well.
Today is grey and sprinkly, but tomorrow and the next day–most of the rest of the week, actually–looks sunny and full of possibilities for more clean-up and turn-over in the gardens.
If I can make it through another grading project today (and maybe put away the Halloween decorations, do some dusting, put some market papers in order, figure out what to make for dinner early enough that it’s not a last-minute freak-out, maybe rake some leaves?), tomorrow might seem just a little more manageable.