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My Office

Posted Sep 11 2009 2:12pm
You know, I want to make something clear. Yesterday, when I was talking about the Amish, I don't want you to think that I was being critical of them. I don't understand the difference between tilling with a tractor yourself, or asking your neighbor to do it for you. I don't understand the difference between having a phone and using someone else's. While I might not understand their ways, not completely, it doesn't matter all that much. What I can tell you about the Amish that I have met is that they are nice, and that they are genuinely hard workers and very good craftsmen, which is why they don't have trouble finding work outside their farms. This is not to say that they are all like that. We did business with one that cheated us. He never made it right, despite the fact that we sent him letters and drove to his house several times. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can't stereotype them. They've got their peculiarities like most everyone else, their good folks and their bad folks.

Today, I had to go back to collect my traps. I'd set one up across from an Amish farm. Two of the younger children, maybe 8 and 9, watched silently from across the road. They were so cute and wide eyed, the little girl in her bonnet and long dress and the little boy in his black pants and blue shirt and suspenders, with his broad brimmed straw hat, both in their bare feet. I spoke to them cheerfully when I left, but I don't think they quite knew what to make of me. This morning, I left the house early, stopping at the local Walmart. I bought bubble soap, balls that sparked when they bounced, screaming balloons, glow in the dark bracelets, just small stuff, a large bag of peanut M and Ms and a two pound bag of Twizzlers. I don't know what all. Our agent from NRCS threw in some children's books about farming. I found some mugs left over from our Envirothon. I packed it all up, and put it in my truck. Sure enough, when I got to their house, they were all lined up and watching as soon as they saw the truck. I handed them a box and said, "This is from the Conservation District. The very first thing that you have to do though, is take it to the house and ask your mother or your father if you can have it. The oldest boy, maybe 12, very seriously, took the box and said, "Fine." As he was carrying the box to the house, the younger children followed along beside him chattering quietly. Someone flipped the top back, and when they saw what was inside, I heard a collective "Oooooh!!!!" and they broke into a run for the house, all of them. I turned my truck around and was headed out when the mother came out the door. She flagged me down. We had a nice chat as the kids all stood behind her grinning and excited. Kids aren't really so different no matter how you dress them.
Anyways, I collected my traps and counted bugs and then headed back to the office. I had callbacks, and paperwork to be done, e-mails to answer, the busy work.
My office is pretty sparsely decorated. I don't spend a lot of time inside. My fuzzy blanket over the back of my chair comes in darn handy for when I get soaked in the rain and am freezing. I usually have a pair of slip on shoes in there for when my feet get wet. I shipped my adult samples. They go out on dry ice. The larva are preserved in alcohol so they are not so time sensitive. These are my samples from the week so far. I'll probably end up with several more samples tomorrow. I'll ship these out Monday.

I also charge my batteries for next week. Tomorrow morning, I'll pull these and put two more on. These batteries run my traps.

Once I was working and a guy rode by on a motorcycle. He stopped to see what I was doing. He was visiting from Baltimore, and he was very interested and interesting. As we were heading off in different directions, he said, "You seem to enjoy your job a lot." "Yes," I said, "I think I have one of the best jobs around." He looked around the woods and said, "Well, I have to say, I really love your office." It made me laugh.

Not all days are like yesterday. Sometimes I have to play inside.

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