Friday, June 25, 2010

Work with your hands

Sabbath eve, June 25, 2010. Leah has gone to the lake for a week with her family, leaving me her chores as well as my own. June is always busy; this year is no exception. We’re cutting, baling and stacking hay as fast as we can. Hordes of grasshoppers will eat the grass if we don’t do something with it first.

I still have peppers, cream peas, okra and a few tomatoes hanging on in the garden but most of the spring crops have begun to fade. We picked cucumbers, watermelons and cantaloupes one last time before plowing them into the ground. We thrashed and winnowed dried pinto beans earlier this week. Six rows yielded a couple hundred pounds. I know damn well I spent ten times more money raising those beans than I could have bought them for at the store. My beans may be a bit better, but not ten times better.

The corn is ripening in our fields. This will wait for the combine, good Lord willing.

Cows, chickens, horses, goats and dogs spend most of their time in the shade avoiding the brutal summer sun. And we think ourselves smarter than they.

This morning I discovered a chest freezer full of food had stopped working. I removed freezer bags, one by one, and dumped the contents, filling six five-gallon buckets in the process, thinking all the while about how much work went into growing, processing and storing that food. At least it wasn’t the freezer full of meat. I fed the stuff to the chickens, so it wasn’t a total loss, but still....

I read that unemployment benefits are soon to end for many workers, something like a million beginning today, and hundreds of thousands each week from now on. From my perspective, this is inevitable. Some will say we still have money to spend on wars so we should have money to further extend benefits. Others might reply if it weren’t for the empire and its wars, there’d be no wealth to spend.

The argument is moot.

The wealth we have known is going away, piece by piece. Truth is, it's already gone. Were it not for massive new debt all of this would have come to a halt in July of 2007. The debt bailed out bankers and the ultra-rich. No working class jobs were created. Perhaps something could have been done, could still be done. It won’t be.

However, I am of the opinion that certain rules or laws of nature apply, some of which I found in the book of Proverbs. One goes something like this: Work with your hands, and you will eat.

Hard work won’t kill you; waiting around for a miracle might.

Do something.

1 comment:

  1. My unemployment benefits run out in four weeks. I'm not concerned, even though countless job applications over the last six months have yielded not even one phone call, regardless of my marketable skills and experience. I'm not concerned because money comes and goes--I'm smart enough to budget and able to survive on very little, but more so I have marketable skills. I'm not unique--we all do. Some can fix cars, some can fix electronic devices, some know how to build dog houses...

    In my case I do multimedia. I went today and photographed a birthday party. Next week I'm hosting a photo shoot for a magician. It's just a matter of figuring out what you know how to do and then looking for people who need them done.

    It won't be enough to save for college for my daughter or retirement for when I get too old to work, or enough to put into savings or stocks and bonds...but we'll be able to eat. That's good enough. For now. It should be for others as well. I won't cry for those who lose their unemployment and don't know how they're going to be able to afford their 400.00 car payment or 1,000 apartment.