Labor Day weekend will be anything but a relaxing transition from summer to what some consider the beginning of fall. Farmers don’t have the luxury of taking days off, so rest assured you’re in good company with me, the full-time office dweller. I occasionally get days away from the office, but there’s always work to do.
On the docket at my house is re-roofing the garage. For better or worse, my husband is a do-it-yourselfer, which means that any project, no matter how big, he will literally do himself. I’m there merely to fetch food and beverages and occasionally wayward tools or materials. This is fine with me, as I’m not the most sure-footed person on the planet and probably wouldn't be much help traipsing around deteriorating shingles and uneven plywood.
Our garage has been slipping into embarrassing disrepair over the years. It’s your average, boring two-car detached garage, but re-roofing it has never made the short list of fun things to do over the weekend. Every year, the curling shingles get a little more curled, and winter and summer storms alike have wreaked havoc on the eaves and siding. Time and money are always in short supply, but the poor garage is in bad enough shape now that it needs to be fixed before the snow flies, lest we have no garage and a pile of lumber come the first big snowstorm.
However, the fact that I’m not much help with major home repairs doesn’t mean I’m sitting in the living room with my feet up, watching out the window for the signal that my help is needed. There's plenty to do between chasing the constant tornado of a toddler (naptime gets even more valuable the older said toddler gets), and cleaning up after that toddler, not to mention the sometimes equally messy husband.
Laundry and dishes resemble assembly lines rather than tasks to be completed. I think my sink is clear of dishes for a maximum of 15 minutes before the process starts again. There’s always a sippy cup or a snack bowl that gets missed until the moment the sink is spotless. For my birthday this year, I asked for a Dustbuster handheld vacuum. A vacuum! And let me tell you, it’s one of the most handy gifts I've ever received and gets used multiple times a day. You know your social life has come to a screeching halt when you’re excited about appliances.
As for the fall cleanup outside, let’s just say my gardening and landscaping also came to a screeching halt this year. Time got away from us, and the fenced garden overgrown with weeds became a pre-built chicken run for this season’s crop of laying hens and broilers. A trailer was converted to a movable coop and backed up to the fence, so the birds pulled double-duty over the summer, tilling and fertilizing the garden for a fresh start next year.
We have some work to do in gathering and cutting several years’ worth of fallen trees in our woods, but that’ll wait until after bowhunting season opens and the temperature drops. It’s more efficient to get the season’s supply of firewood when you’re not trudging through tangled brush and battling insects.
Here’s to a safe harvest season, and good luck to those heading back to school. Winter’s dark and quiet days will be here before we know it.
Jenn Stirmel is The Country Today’s copy editor and page designer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.