I write to you within a skin of a new hue. I was outside a LOT today and have acquired a bit of a burn. You see, Donna and I took the girls with privileges out on a field trip today ALL OVER ROBIN HOOD'S BARN.
First we went to a local community garden; it's like a co-op thing. Different families pay a certain amount up front and then come and get the produce later in the season. It's all organic etc. Anyway, we met the farmer at his house and had to drive up the road to get to the field. He started his minivan, pulled in front of me, and then hopped out to tell me something...and his minivan kept moving with nobody in it. I quickly pointed this out to him and he seemed rather unconcerned, said something like this happened all the time, and calmly made his way back to the vehicle to stop it. Oh my word. He's so laid back it's almost scary. Anyway, the girls did okay, even though there was a manure pile, and hordes of dragon flies... We did variations of weeding. But not the "hands and knees" variety of weeding. We had implements of agriculture. Cool. Mine was called a "scratcher." Kind of like a hoe. I worked on a row of pepper plants, a couple of rows of potato plants. The girls were enchanted by the free range chickens and when the farmer gave them an egg, I thought they would fly over the moon. They hollered across the field to Donna, " He gave us an egg! Donna! Can we keep it? Can we let it hatch!? I'll sit on it! Can we get an incubator!?" They got tired of hoeing pretty fast. These are city girls we have here.
We moved on from there to Crotched Mountain...We drove up the mountain a ways...I thought we were going to hop out of the car, walk five minutes up a trail and eat our delightful picnic lunch. But it turned into a nightmare. The girls were cranky, tired, and hungry...and in no mood to walk uphill. After all, hadn't they just finished a stint of hard labor? ( Umm...probably half an hour of work on a farm and they're pooped.) The picnic tables I thought were going to appear never materialized. Complaints began to fly. Morale took a nosedive. And then, one girl discovered ticks on her pants. You would have thought velociraptors were charging her. I can still hear the screams. And guess who plucked them off - with a leaf of course? ( That would be me.) Well, shortly after that debacle, a consensus was reached to retreat to the vans...But eating being VERBOTEN in the vans, we ended up eating on the side of the road. Charming. ( Another girl was in tears because of bug bites. I really don't think that the miracle cream in the first aid bag really did anything...but I figured applying it would at least act as a placebo. It seemed to do the trick.)
Next stop, the lake. No lifeguard was on duty, so the rule was, they couldn't go in above their knees. So the couple girls who braved the dubious lake floor, ( to say nothing of the water) flailed about in the shallow water like frantic fish. The rest of them baked themselves in the sun while swatting flies.
So there was my day. My left arm - my driving arm- is especially red.