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Date:9/22/2014 9:18:12 AM
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Prioritizing
The Summer Rush continues. It is now necessary to prioritize what's to be done on the land. The Farmwife writes only too well on how tasks can pile up and how she can only dream of doing something fun to distract her. I feel the same way, last year at this time I wrote how a Countryman needs to find recreation in his work, He'd better, or else he or she would be miserable. Nevertheless, the lengthening list of jobs can be discouraging.

What I've learned to do is set the following priority: Produce first, vegetable garden weeds second, and everything else third. It doesn't make sense to hoe weeds while the greenbeans go to waste. Each year around here, the garden gets pretty weedy by the end of the harvest season. Another aspect facing this aging Countryman besides time is energy. Simply put, I get tired. As of this morning, the jobs facing me were: Picking beans and peas, mowing the front lawns at the homestead, hoeing the vegetable garden, weeding all the flowerbeds, weed whacking the tall grass all around here, and then starting to mow around home. Complicating the matter was a 105 predicted heat index.

I was able to complete the first three tasks, in addition to running down to Green Bay to get my glasses fixed and visiting Ma at the nursing home. (I probably shouldn't include the three hour siesta during the hottest part of the day but hey, I'm 54) At 8:15 pm, as the high summer twilight deepened, this sweat-soaked Countryman hauled a wheelbarrow full of Creeping Jenny out of the vegetable garden and spread it on a patch of bare sand on our back hill and then went in for the night. I did manage to weed one flowerbed out of four but the rest remain. I had to let the task of mowing the homestead's lawns jump the priority list because Big Brother Tommy had already paid me to do it.

So weeding and weed whacking and mowing await their turn while I hope to have the time, energy, and good weather to attend to them in a day or two. To most people these tasks would seem to be miserable, especially in the High Summer heat. For me, and my brother and sister Countrymen and Countrywomen, it is something to be looked forward to. Feeling the warm Summer wind blow through my wet T-shirt and hearing the finches and sparrows sing while I work on my own land is a blessing, not a curse. "By the sweat of your brow you shall eat." (Genesis 3:19) So be it. A true Countryman is grateful even for that. --Gary
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