previous entry :: next entry

work season

In the Little House on the Prairie series we learn, among many other useful and wonderful things, that kids only used to go to school when there wasn't any work to be done. There's something to that. Right now I figure we could use about a month off to get all the spring gardening work done, especially since it got warm all of a sudden so I feel like I need to be doing all of it, all at once. I'd be happy to go back for a corresponding length of time in July or so to make up for it, since besides weeding there's not so much to do then.

It's interesting how summer became the season of leisure over the last century or so. Even after the school year lengthened beyond a couple weeks here and there in separate fall and winter terms, we've stuck with the agriculturally-derived summer break (even though it now starts much too late to be of much agricultural use). But since nobody has to work outside any more, the free summer hours become hours of idle relaxation—or of frantic struggles to, Phineas and Ferb style, get the most "fun" out of the time off. Winter these days is the time for seriousness and work.

For most of human history it was the other way. Even discounting the farming calendar, absent electric illumination summer days are a lot more productive than those of midwinter. And whatever your task, you'd have all your raw materials to hand, as well as the ability to collect them. Winter, on the other hand, would have seen you stuck at home with not much to do besides, if your planning was satisfactory, eating up your stored food and telling stories. I bet they had some wild Christmas parties back in those days! (even if they were really solstice parties).

Anyways, all that is to say I did some hard work in the garden today after getting home from my job this afternoon. Before dinner (which we ate outside, yay!) and after dinner too. At least April vacation is coming up. Maybe Massachusetts recognizes a little of our lost agricultural heritage after all.

previous entry :: next entry