Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Life on The Farm 081511: Not That Bad

We were late leaving for farmer’s market last week.

The problems were on my husband Dan’s end. 

I had packed up all the cheeses and meats, labeled everything so that we know where to find the special orders and items that get buried in the coolers - like half pig heads, whole briskets, and small chickens.

I even had enough time to relieve some frustration and smack frost off the sides of the freezer with a hammer.

His job was to turn the fresh cheeses at the plant and feed calves, which usually takes 20 minutes. 

They didn’t want to drink.

Time runs away quickly when five babies need to be bottle-fed.

On top of that, our herdsperson was having difficulty giving a pill to a cow – and you should understand that a cow-pill is the size of a Twinkie - and this particular bolus wasn’t of the type administered orally. You can’t butter it up to help it slide down easier, either.

Well, maybe butter would have worked, but Dan didn’t have any to get the deed done.

According to him, it all went south from there. But, at least he had enough hot water at home for a shower (a recurring problem ignored for two years and counting).

Halfway to Burlington, he spilled coffee onto his polo shirt, started fuming about everything that had happened so far, and stated that no one - no one - could possibly be having a worse day than his! 

When we arrived, St. Paul Street was even more of a wreck than last time and blocked off on the south side.   There was barely enough room for a handful of vehicles to off-load, the ever-present tilting Porta Potty was entirely too off-kilter for comfort, and a backhoe was blocking the entrance to American Flatbread.

He was still grumbling about something-or-other as he attempted to back the pickup in-between a large panel truck and a station wagon.

After managing an impressive park that allowed us to exit from both sides of the vehicle (usually, only one door can be opened), we began setting up and greeting fellow vendors who were hauling tents and tables to their designated spots.

That’s when Dan discovered he was not the only one experiencing a reversal of fortune.

A fellow farmer who sells beef and grills hamburgers spun us a short tale, while simultaneously pulling a cart towards the park’s newly completed sidewalk entrance, up slope all the way.

At the Interstate off-ramp, he had hit a bump - the jolt had opened the tailgate of his pickup and the contents spilled out onto the pavement.

He had to scramble to throw things off the road in order to pick them up safely, and then pack everything up again.

As a capper, his assistant had called in sick, so there was no one to help him during the calamity, nor aid in tending his stand later.

Dan felt that his day hadn’t been quite so bad, after all.