Dear Farm Journal,
The heat is hitting hard already this morning. I move the trays of transplants out of the greenhouse onto a table outside, lest they combust under the heavy burning burden within the greenhouse walls. Next, I bravely march to the long driveway fields to pick yellow summer squash and pickling cucumbers. Just like the asparagus, these crops have to be harvested almost everyday so they don’t grow beyond market size. The entire task is a caustic experience. I reach my arms into the plants in a swirling motion, moving the large leaves away to reveal potential fruit pockets. The prickly plants slice miniscule cuts into my arms, wrists, and hands, which are aggravated by the steady flow of salty sweat. A comparable torrent of perspiration runs right passed my weak eyebrows into my eyes, blurring the row ahead of me. Rufus and I joke that you should never look down to the end of the row anyway. It seems so far away and dampens morale, best to just keep your head down and move along. Except, when I put my head down, the sweat runs even more quickly into my burning eyeballs. As we near the end of the row, Rufus asks, “So do you want to go to the river?” I have tried to put on a brave face all morning, bucking up to put in a full Saturday of work, resisting the call of the Kickapoo, but the burning sweat rolling down my face and this equally burning question break down all my walls. “Yup, I say we finish harvesting this row and load the boats up”. “Atta girl”, Rufus says. I think he really wanted to hit the river as well, but just needed me to say it. We put in a valiant effort for a steamy Saturday morning, we deserve a cool dip in the Kickapoo. All farm work has not come to a stop, though, Papa Rich is cruising the fields in the background, bailing hay, but it’s a one man job, so off we go.