Muck boot days and flower bouquets

September 16, 2011 § 2 Comments

Goodness gracious, has it been muddy! Three days of clouds and rain. Morning mists, and white wisps hovering around the mountains. It has felt like England. It has meant tea and toast with butter and jam.

It has also meant sliding around in the paddocks with high-strung horses, horses even more eager (read: demanding) to have their food. It has meant mud-caked shoes and wisely switching to muck boots, or wellies. Wellies are great, and it makes me happy when I get to wear mine. But you have to walk rather differently in them, especially when they are heavy with mud on the bottom, and after doing that – while pulling wheelbarrows full of hay or toting buckets full of flowers – for a solid day or so you will end up sore in muscles you didn’t know you had, or at least had forgotten about.

And then you get to go inside and sink into a bath, or stretch out by the fireplace, and let the cold and wet sort of seep out of you. Fleece and wool, sweaters and thick socks. It is only September and yet the rain means I get to drag out and use these favorite things!

I don’t know why what some would call “bad weather” is so often a favorite thing for me. I am completely aware that it means more work. I know it means having to worry about things you otherwise might not. I definitely know it makes more laundry! And it surely upsets the comfort and efficiency of routine.

But isn’t it a relief to have routine upset sometimes? There is just something about having to work around the weather – about having the ordinary course of things thrown off – that I can’t help finding amusing, interesting, and honestly quite satisfying. I suppose some thanks should go to parents who taught my siblings and me to laugh at difficulty and work with the unexpected. After all, that makes it more fun to plow through, if one must plow.

As I write, though, the three days of clouds and water have just passed. After a cold, foggy, coat-hat-and-mittens morning at the farm today, with plenty of sniffling and even a change of socks, I settled with the flowers into the shed to make bouquets, and the sun came out once again. The mountains could be seen blue to the west. The other farm hands and I had slowly been shedding layers all morning; I had to grin a little at going from fleece-lined softshell jacket to tanktop and ponytail in only a few hours. Now in the shade of the shed I was still sweating. Still, at least I had the shade, right?

These Fridays are my flower days, and happily full of color. So many flowers just exude optimism. Others seem more serious, or romantic, or even melancholy, and these can be nice to put together. Cosmos, snapdragons, zinnias, pincushion flowers, bachelor’s buttons, amaranth, love-lies-bleeding, sweet annie, and black-eyed susans have all been gathered into pretty bundles to greet people at the market in the morning. And I’ll be there, too – hopefully with a mug of coffee in hand and a smile more noticeable than my sleepy eyes.

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§ 2 Responses to Muck boot days and flower bouquets

  • Beautiful post. 🙂 And I know what you mean about the weather… though I’m grateful to have an indoor job on these fall days when we have regular afternoon thunderstorms, there’s also something really special about being caught out in the weather, or working in it every day, that helps you feel more connected to the world around you.

    • Erica says:

      Thanks, Mackenzie! Looks like you’re in Colorado, too . . . and have a beautiful horse? Several beautiful horses? I may need to spend some more time on your blog . . .

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