Yes, farmers take holidays in the summer ó or at least this one does.
In fact I have just taken one at the place I have been to every summer of my entire life. Its annual pull on my psyche is no match for the obligations of the potato farm, particularly during a wet June and following several hard-working weeks of good productivity.
And now at the end of the week, having read several books and watched the entire first season of Glee, I am itching to get back to the dirt. The farm has never been all that far from my mind (except during the Madonna mash-up in Episode 6) and I kept in touch.
The carrots have come up. This is worth celebrating, as I wasnít sure they would. Unlike potato seeds (entire spuds) carrot seeds are so tiny they canít be found in the dirt, so itís hard to tell if the seeding was done properly. Until those frail shoots appeared, I was finding it hard to relax, despite outward appearances.
I know that dad has finished hilling the potatoes. That will be the last time the tractor goes through the field until it is attached to the harvester. All we can do now is make sure they get enough water.
I am not surprised to hear that Toby the young puppy has been a bit of a pain ó I have a gnawed and be-slobbered phone case to remind me of his little ways. The ducks are getting very irritated with his uninvited presence in their nesting areas and Twique, the older dog, has taken to hiding out in the bushes to avoid his lavish displays of affection.
I can tell that watering became a top of mind issue this week. A few hot days with no rain set mom, dad and Jennie on a more or less frantic mission to get things watered. Last nightís rain storm eased their work-load and my guilt about not being there to help.
Up in the Okanagan, the rain was coming down too but that didnít stopped me from swimming every morning in the lake that I think only recently was snow on the mountaintops. Possibly it is getting warmer daily ó the symptoms of hypothermia seemed much diminished as the week went on.
I have had a good holiday. My body feels grateful for the only cure for much of what ails it: rest. I am caught up on my reading list and Glee has appealed to an inner need for musical theatre. Hoeing and firewood stacking are just crying out for a dance routine to make time go by.
I am looking forward to getting back on the farm. The first thing I will do is go for a walk around the place.
First I will inspect the Tissue Culture seed potatoes, and right beside them, the celeriac. I am curious to see the peas, which have been so slow to come up this year for some reason. And the beans, which I have replanted now several times ó†the seed was old and I wanted to use it up. Not worthwhile. Make a note.
And then, as I am a full week removed from the last time I did hard work such as walking around, I will probably still have some energy.
I might dance walk out to the carrots.
Anna Helmer is happy to dance on the bar if the floor is full.