The Rest

There are many things to do.

Some of them are big. Get hay out of the field and mulch a bunch of plots. Monday morning; overcast, chilly and intermittently misty, Logan, Ed and I made our sluggish round with the John Deere and a hay wagon, forking the remaining piles of loose hay onto the wagon, to park by the Field 0 onion plot.

Some of them are putsy, but important. Logan and I huddled together under the loaded hay wagon in the rain, trying to figure out why the wheel fell off, how split-rim wheels work, and what it will take to get it back on. One YouTube video and another wheel removal later, it turns out we’ve got a busted axle.


Some of them are phone calls. Getting on the horn with someone who can get on the horn with someone who can weld something highly important, like a wagon axle back into its housing. It’s kind of inconvenient to have a temporarily two-wheeled wagon right on the driveway turnaround, but it’s also kind of a convenient spot to work on something. Now we have a better understanding of how split-rim wheels work, and what happens to them when axles break.

Some of them are administrative. Hopping onto the computer once a week, and reconciling the books. Keeping an eye on budgets, and how our day-to-day activities are fitting in with our budgeted expectations for expenses, say, like hay equipment repair.


Some of them are simply fun. Hitting the backwaters of the Wisconsin River with some friends and a couple of canoes and kayaks. Getting past the initial annoyance stages of an overtired and undernapped 13-month old and finding a sandbar upon which to splash, dive, throw frisbees, snack, and just hang with a naked, chattering 13-month old.

Some of them are annoyingly constant. Sweeping the floor for the third time before 930 am; wiping the high chair down again; putting the books back onto the bookshelf, and the jars back onto the jarshelf for the fourth time in the day. All the while followed by a stomping little monster holding her arms up and making the same persistent, yet nondescript demand of, “MehMehMehMehMehMehMehMehMeh,” coupled intermittently with grunts, groans and Gremlin-snarls.

Some of them are uncertain. Picking up said monster, and enjoying the brief respite from the nagging, only to find seconds later that some other form of discontentment has crept in, and it’s time for a new strategy. Conversely, explaining to said monster that we can hang when I’m finished washing these dishes, and until then you’re just going to have to figure something out without me. This is always accompanied by mixed feelings, and a wonder of the nature of the trauma of the developing brain at times like these, and the psychology of throwing fits.

Some of them creep into your mind and make it hard to nap. I should strain those bones and clean up those jars of funky concoctions taking up the washing room shelf. I need to cook farm lunch tomorrow. I should probably do laundry. It would be really nice if both remaining plots of onions got mulched. I have a bunch of workshares to manage tomorrow. What should we do?

And all of them just have to be forgotten for awhile from time to time. Monday afternoon around 4, the trailer was jacked up, the hay was all collected, the rain was coming down, and we were hand weeding greens. My guts felt funky; my head was pounding; my energy was as low as I remember, and I just couldn’t do it anymore. I stood up, announced that I felt like shit and was leaving, and went home and crawled in bed – dedicating a day and a half to strict recovery. All spring we’ve beasted on prepping and planting; muscling our fields into shape for a long season of harvest and CSA pack. All summer, we’ll pump out CSA boxes, harvest days, succession plantings and field maintenance. All fall, we’ll rock out huge harvests of the long-season storage crops, and get things closed up for next season. So, for a couple extra hours on a rainy Monday afternoon, I just didn’t. And that’s okay.