The compliments which please us most are those which mark our differences—
however slight and even silly—from the rest of the human race.
It’s raining. There are huge puddles in the sea of green pasture behind our house. This will change our outside plans for the day. No worries, there are plenty of inside projects to keep us busy. It was a productive couple of days outside.
With the help of a girl named Sarah, there were jobs completed that had been put off. Continually put off, and then to be forgotten only because those important jobs like fence repair, planting and soon the harvesting of the hay take priority. We two farmers need help once in a while from off-farm hands. In the summer, we are fortunate that there are many university or college students, or for that matter high school students looking for work.
Sarah came back to her home province to be with her family for the summer. She is still looking for that fulltime summer job which will help pay her tuition for the upcoming year. In a stalled economy, there are many students who will find it hard to get that job this year.
There are many hard-working young people willing to work. Contrary to some reports that I have read; they are not always on their phones and in my experience they are not “lazy”.
The gates around the farm are taking on that worn-out faded look and needed a touch of paint to prevent rust. Since we are too busy to complete those kinds of jobs, it seemed like the perfect job, for someone like Sarah, who we would not hand those keys to the tractor over, just yet.
The only safety equipment needed were a pair of coveralls, a hat, a mask (oil paint), shoes and gloves that you may need not want to fret about ever wearing again. Painting, in my experience, can be a messy job. Sunscreen, bug spray and water and then she was off. My Hero showed her what needed to be painted inside, and outside of the barn. Her attire was not something a girl on campus would ever be seen wearing, but she was a good sport. Don’t tell her this, but I thought she looked cute.
The first day went very well. The gates were painted outside and then inside the barn. After a days’ work, she came inside with only a spot of gray paint on her. I have to say, I was very impressed as I have never been able to do that. The next day, things turned out to be a bit different.
Well now, it seems that the west coast does not have the same weeds and allergens that we have here in Ontario. Sarah woke up with all the signs of an allergy. This is not something that a farmer can predict. We have certainly had our share of helpers that have been overcome with hay fever over time. I asked Sarah if she wanted to continue, and she said yes. What a trooper. With a pocket full of tissue, she headed out to finish what she had started.
This time, it was all outside work. I could see her from the window and I kept a very close eye on her. For two and a half hours she toiled under the curious eyes of the cows, who no doubt wondered what she was really up to. Finally finished, she came into the house.
She looked worn out. I did notice that my coveralls were covered with some red paint. There had to be a reason that a girl who had only one drop of paint on her the day before had ended up with something that appeared as if she had been in a battle, with all that red paint. What an interesting story she had.
“I had to save a honey bee. It was a real honey bee”. Well as we all know honey bees are scarce in most places these days, and that fact does scare many of us; including me. It seems this poor honey bee flew into the fresh paint. Sarah instinctively threw the paint brush to the ground and with her thick rubber glove, she plucked the bee out of the paint. It flew off. That seems promising to me, and I am very proud of Sarah. We all need to protect and save the honey bees.
Now, apparently when she threw that paintbrush on the ground it gathered up gravel and grass. She, not thinking wiped it on her (actually my) coveralls.
Baling hay may look a bit scarier to a passer-by this summer when I have to step out of the tractor. Coveralls covered in red always grab you for a minute.
See you next week Sarah, unless of course that fulltime job contacts you. But remember we can fill in your free hours. There is always something to do around the farm.
Hire a student.