Sunday, January 22, 2006


Recently, my sleep pattern has changed. I find I only need six hours. I'm crediting it to the Holosync. It might just be maturity.

This morning, I am at my brother and sister-in-law's home in Winnemucca. They both rose early, went out for coffee. Doug lies abed, getting his beauty sleep -- and it must work, he's very attractive! And I am thinking about early mornings I have known.

My sister rises early too. Genetics, or a legacy of youthful farm labor?

Because, this, to me, was the archetypical farming morning:

Dad would call through the bedroom door, and I'd roll out of bet, dress with jeans, button front shirt, hat and tennis shoes. We'd be out the front door, and into the pickup, ten minutes later. Another ten minutes to drive to the farm, sun rising over the hills, air fresh and moist. Then my sister and I would take Grandpa's pickup out to the out to the fields.

We moved irrigation lines. The wheel lines were easy. Disconnect the four inch diameter hoses from the side line, start the motor in the center of the field with the pull rope, walk behind as the pipes rolled about ten yards beyond the limit of wet soil. Reconnect the hose at the new location. Start the timer. Check that all the sprinklers opened up as they should. Next field.

The intermediate wheatgrass, though, was too tall for the wheel lines. Rolling along would have broken the tops off the stalks, scattered the seed that was the most profitable fruit of the field. So we had hand lines. Again, disconnect from the sideline. We practiced, and we could lift the twenty foot segment from the center, press it toward the next segment, and twist it just so, releasing the catch and freeing it. Then lift the pipe overhead to clear the stalks, and march it to its new location, wet wheatgrass brushing against our clothes in the mosquito-laden dawn.

Reassemble. Reattach. Timer. Check for trouble. At last, drive back to the house.

Where Grandma cooked hamburger patties and toast, cottage cheese and sliced tomatoes. And we could visit until our clothes dried, and it was time to go hoe or hay.