I spent some time today in the seat of my John Deere, mowing pasture that has been mowed twice and will likely be mowed again before the end of August. It is hot, dusty work, but I like seat-time because it is think time. Not worrisome thoughts, just mental meandering through the uncut meadows of my mind.
Today I did some thinking about the heat. Specifically summer in Alabama. Not for the faint of heart.
The weather apps I have on my phone and the television weather people advise that it will be 92 degrees at two o’clock but it will actually feel like 105 degrees.
Well thanks for that. Blesses my heart to know that I should be feeling hotter than I already do.
My thoughts turned to the last few weeks. I spent my days teaching some young folk a little about forestry and logging. They are “millennial” or “Gen Xers” or “Gen whatevers.” I can’t keep up with all the classifications. I could Google it, but it doesn’t interest me enough to bother with a few key-strokes to even do that.
I thought they were a bit whiny. Actually, a lot whiny.
“It’s too hot out here.”
“You walk too fast.”
“Can we stop at the store?”
I rather liked that. I am tough. They are weak. Can’t keep pace with the old man.
My generation’s view of the next. Spoiled. Can’t take it. The “I got a trophy for showing up” generation. Comes out quickly in the Alabama sun.
The tractor and my mind turn down a new trail. It’s old ground, but sometimes my thoughts need to cover old ground to be put right.
My daddy worked outside most of his life. The cars and pick-up trucks he drove never had air conditioning. So far as I know, he bought the first air conditioner he owned when I was about five, a “window unit” that we ran until bedtime. Electricity cost money, and we didn’t have an abundance of that.
His daddy was a carpenter who worked outside all of his life. Had a house with high ceilings and a floor fan with blades roughly the size of a Cessna propeller.
His daddy had no electricity because it hadn’t made it to the country. High ceilings, shade trees and rain the only respite.
His daddy had nothing. I have a list of his net worth when he applied for his Confederate pension at age 69. It included 40 acres, one log cabin, four hogs, a clock, household furniture, and a few farming tools. Total value $130. Maybe some shade in the yard. Hopefully a cool water creek on that 40 or at least not too far away.
Toughness is relative, by summertime heat or any other gauge by which we use to measure.
Supposed to be hot again tomorrow, but I don’t feel so tough tonight.