Reward Your Toil

All I can say is, Prescott gives Chicago a run for the money in the moniker “The Windy City.” It’s dry, on top of windy, meaning we are rapidly approaching the day when we are on high alert for wildfires.

Now my days are all about digging invasive weeds and busting up dead trees. My most complicated choices are whether to continue to haul the limbs to the dump or build more brush piles.

Found in a pit on property

Found in a pit on property

The number of amassed brush piles out here recently topped twenty and put me in mind of the signal fires lit on top of peaks in “Lord of the Rings.” Except here you certainly can’t burn anything this time of year due to windy conditions. And, as to the practice of creating brush piles for the purpose of encouraging and protecting wildlife habitat, I’ll never have to be concerned over the fertility of our bunnies and quail, and I certainly don’t need to create more hiding places for rattlesnakes. AND, those brush piles would just crank up a wild fire, so for this year, the branches have to go to the great shredder out on Sundog Ranch Road.

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Petrified eggs or???

Teaching and website design (my first two careers) did not leave their mark on my hands. Therapeutic massage is still required for the space between my shoulders and is reflected in the absence of color in my hair.

Now my hands are desiccated, and I have actual calluses. My once elegantly career oriented wardrobe is full of rips and stains. I get all quivery when I have time to stop by Prescott True Value for some more tools. The weeds I’m battling are classified as noxious, and they can’t be eradicated with simple pulling or weed whacking. It takes a good strong shovel and plenty of leverage to get ’em out of here. No scheduling, conferencing, finesse, networking or ROI matters in my life now. All you have to do is throw on your work clothes, get out there and start digging.

Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

The stuff unearthed is wide-ranging: Some kind of amulet or talisman. Ovoids that look like petrified eggs. Lots of rusty horseshoes. Animal skulls. Well, I’m keeping all of it, no matter how much it creeps out my granddaughters. The earth gives up its treasures to those who work hard. “Reward your toil,” in other words.

How is it that it took me six decades to discover that most of my ancestors, going back to at least the 1600’s worked the land?

I WILL keep digging.

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