Sunday, July 7, 2013

Too Hot to Read

I was tired today, a combination of the heat and the weekend. The farm is doing well, plans and progress are in the works, but I just had one of those moments where REST was in all capital letters. I wanted nothing more than to sit under the maple in the hammock and read. I just started the first Earthsea book, and was looking forward to a little escape. I find that shade, summer days, a book and my favorite mixed drink make for an afternoon few appetites can refuse. My signature drink is called the Haymason. You serve it in a mason jar but that isn't why it's called that. Last summer when I was pitching bales over at the Ackland's Maple Lane Farm into a wagon, Mark, who was driving the tractor exclaimed: "Your body was built for this work! Look at you go! You are built like a STONE MASON!" Which instantly made the younger guys around us laugh because they all knew what I knew, which was no woman (regardless of her body type) dreams of the day a gentlemen tells her she has a body like a stone mason. I laughed. It reminded me of what some of the guys called me in high school. I remember being the outdoorsy, artsy, weird hippie kid. My sister was the tall blonde teenager. One day a boy in my class told me that the nickname for my sister and I was Beauty and the Beast. When he saw my expression, he added, "But a friendly Beast!"

That's me. The friendly beast. Watch your husbands ladies.

Anyway, the name haymason stuck from that conversation, which was nothing but a compliment from Mark and I took it as such. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm a dire wolf. There is nothing delicate or timid about me. I'm strong, loyal, loud, tough, and my ears are even a little pointy. I stick close to my pack, plan to mate for life, and prefer a time and place long gone from this world. Which is why my idea of a good time is throwing bales into a wagon, riding a horse, or learning to be a falconer. It's what dire wolves do. Some of you are dire wolves too. I know because I met you.

So what is a Haymason? A hay mason is a pint mason jar filled with ice. Then you pour into it hard cider until it is 3/4 full and top off the happy glass with Kentucky bourbon. It's strong, sweet, and can get any tired hay worker or dire wolf back on her dancing feet. I have been known to run five miles in the heat and come back to my farm only to kick off my sneakers and collapse unshod into my chair hammock and dream of a cold shower with mint soap and a long pull from a jar of Haymason. Now that, dear friends, is summer.

Luxury needs to be earned around here, that's a fact. I wanted to do nothing and read Earthsea but it was too damn hot to sit under a tree and read. I needed to turn on the Cold Antler Farm Air Conditioning so I could relax. CAF AC means changing into workout clothes and going for a 3-5 mile run in the intense heat. When you come home to a cold shower and Dr. Bronners mint soap your body goes from so hot it might melt to a shock of chill. Suddenly that weather you thought was heat becomes a resting temperature of splendor. It's all about perspective folks. If it's too hot to read make your body so hot it prays for the comforts you ran from. It's the dire wolf way.

So I did run. I went three miles and came home to that shower. Right now there is a thunderstorm starting and Gibson is hiding in his crate, panting a mile a minute. Annie is in front of the fan, sprawled out. I am at my computer with a jar of Haymason, having earned it after my little jaunt and a cold splash. It is no longer too hot to read. Nor is it too hot to write. This friendly beast is about to tuck into a good book and enjoy the rain that deserves to fall. The fireflies will pop out afterwards and hopefully the fox that has been picking off my chickens will get struck blind by lightening.

Stay cool. Stay who you are.

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