Monday, May 2, 2016

Summer Plans

My  “job” –that little business to which I have clung for fourteen years, now—enhances the tone of opposition my life has always had, by choice or by chance.  It’s a summer job.  While everyone else is indulging in vacations, barbecues, gardening, yard projects, all that fine-weather folderol, I am designing promotional materials, purchasing supplies, scheduling production shifts, and arranging travel and lodging for the next six months’ business opportunities.  There’s no doubt that summer employment puts one noticeably out of step with the rest of the world. 

And since I have never been one to follow the crowd—have, in fact, intentionally NOT done so most of my life—I don’t find the peculiarities of my choice of vocation to be overly burdensome.  But there are some summertime activities in which I like to indulge, or have thought I NEEDED to indulge, that get crowded out during this all-too-short and frenzied season of fun and sun.

I have always loved to adorn my outside areas with pots of bright summer flowers.  At one time, I was quite the accomplished container gardener.  And in more recent years, I’ve taken on the  challenge of attempting to cultivate a salad/veggie garden.  The last couple of years, since we purchased the building in Junction City that houses our production facility, the additional strain of running up and down the I-5 corridor several times a month and spending two or three nights a week away from home, has turned what were once enjoyable leisure activities into just that many more tasks staring at me from the dreaded “To Do” list.  

This past weekend proved to be a sort of epiphany for me.  It was our last “free” weekend until mid-October.  Next week, we start our weekly jaunts to Astoria as vendors in the Sunday Market.  (We like the market; it has been good to us.  And the income it has generated is vital.)  The weather was fine, and it was a perfect opportunity to toil in the yard and get all our outdoor ducks in a row before we run out of free weekends. 


We packed a couple of little overnight bags, jumped in the van and hustled over to the coast, where we had a thoroughly enjoyable 36-hour mini-vacation.

Yesterday morning, as we were about to head across the Young’s Bay Bridge on Highway 101 heading toward Warrenton from Astoria, I was treated to a sight I have never seen in the fourteen years we have enjoyed the scenic delights of that area:  a line of six white pelicans floated low in the sky, over the road ahead…we passed right under them.  Here in Oregon, white pelicans are generally birds of inland waters.  I have never seen them at the coast.  In fact, I’ve rarely encountered them at all.  Until this spring; I’ve crossed paths with them unexpectedly several times in the past six weeks.  So, of course, I see this (finally!) as a message from the Almighty, which I just fully figured out after I started writing this post.

Pelican tells us to lighten our load, to unburden ourselves.  Not only to let go of anger and resentments, but to let go of things, activities, than “no longer serve.”  Between pelican’s visits and our happy “stolen” hours of recreation this past weekend, I’ve come to realize that, at least now, this “Farmer Lisa” cap that I have felt compelled to don in the summer no longer serves.  When something that started out as an enjoyable avocation becomes a task—one for which you have to carve out time that you really do not have—then it’s time to lay it aside.  Perhaps only for a few seasons, until the time to embrace it again becomes available.

So here’s my new plan for this summer:   I’ll cover the veggie beds with mulch and let them go fallow.  I’ll tend the container plants I already own (of which there are plenty) but keep the “fuss factor” down to a minimum.  We have so much “deferred maintenance” that has to be dealt with on the property this summer, I’m sure I’ll have enough to keep me busy without the additional burden of vegetable and flower gardens I really have no time to enjoy. 

That’s the direction I’m setting for myself.  I’ll head along that path and see how it goes.              



  1. What a thrill to see white Pelicans! I am dying to visit your neck of the woods. I think you've found some useful guidance in their appearance. Wishing you a good and prosperous summer season!

  2. Sounds like you have a full plate for the summer. Astoria is pretty place to be. Here's to a successful summer.

  3. Oh, and are you still doing Scandie this summer?

    1. Are you kidding? Scandi is our biggest money maker. Iy's why our licensed kitchen is located in Junction City!