Tuesday, September 4, 2012

oh my corn

I just jumped the last big hurdle that stood between me and hitting the road for New Mexico: the wedding of Jess and Ben in Brandon, Vermont, an easy three hour drive from here along Vermont state roads 7 and 103.  If you want to find out what a sweet and spectacular couple the newlyweds are, you can click this link; but if you want to find out how much fun they are on the dance floor, you will just have to take my word for it.  LOTS O FUN.  I got home, exhausted, feet sore, and found that my last couple ears of corn were now almost totally dry and ready to be plucked of their kernels.  I'm not sure that I'll plant corn next year, but when it comes to seeds I'm like my sister in an animal shelter: I feel like I've got to save every single puppy.  

I finished writing a letter to Stan and headed back out to my garden, now more exhausted and in a quirky mental space, to deal with the corn.  "Deal" makes it sound like plucking the corn was an odious chore, and it was a chore—a lot of what I do is chores—but I do my chores because my principles dictate me.  If there are seeds to be saved, they should be saved.  The satisfaction of the work itself, of doing the work that I choose to do, is more than enough reward.  Not everyone gets to choose their work.  Eating the delicious food that results from the work is a secondary pleasure, a perk, and it's a damn fine perk as far as perks go.  How far do perks go?

Not all of us can do the work we choose to do, and I know that I am fortunate to have people in my life who enable my stubbornness and support my refusal to play any other game than the one I intend to play, which is this game.  I get emotional support and, let's be honest, a little financial support here and there, too.  Take, for instance, the $2000 all of you donated to me last fall so that I could turn down an 8-week teaching contract and drive out to New Mexico to blog about my travels and about my work on Stan and Rose Mary's garlic farm in Dixon.  That trip would not have been possible without you.  I wanted to do it.  You said, Yeah, please do it.  And so we did it.  I want to do it again. 

The trip I am about to take, which I've decided to call The 6 Motels Western Adventure will be possible without your support, but it will certainly be much less exciting and much less feasible without your backing.  Last year all of you made the X-Country Road and Farm Adventure what it was.  I am not speaking solely of financial contributions.  I am speaking about the contract between writers and their readers.  At the wedding dinner in Vermont I sat with the heir to the Tootsie Roll fortune.  He told me that he gets paid handsomely to write but that nobody reads what he writes.  I told him that I rarely earn a penny from my work, but that I have outstanding readers to the tune of 200 per day.  (I had to find some way to jab him for repeatedly telling me that I needed to insert some plastic gizmo into my collar to keep it straight.)  My point is that all of you push me to put good content on this blog, and I am hoping that you will continue to push me as I head out west next week.  Who the hell knows what The 6 Motels Western Adventure will be?  I don't.  I don't even know what this blog is about.  If you know, please tell me.  I'm all ears.  Oh, and please stay tuned to find out, more specifically, how you can get involved in The 6 Motels Western Adventure.  I will map out my plan soon.  Thanks.   

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