Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hard Labor

Yeah, I know, I'm supposed to be on vacation this week.  I mentioned in an earlier post that it's more of a "staycation".  I am off the road.  Staying at home.  Doing all the things I can't seem to get around to because of the travel demands of my job.

I know there are sometimes more efficient ways to do things than the way that I choose.  I make the choice consciously.  One of them is that I intensely dislike using herbicides and pesticides unless absolutely necessary.  Don't get me wrong, I think they have their place.  But, just like everything else, we should think about our reasons for using them, the potential consequences -- both short and long term -- and what alternatives are available.  I often choose a little more physical labor rather than the "easy" route of chemicals.

I hoed a patch of weeds this morning.  I occasionally take up the hoe and go after a patch of weeds that could be sprayed and likely more effectively controlled with chemicals.  I just hate adding those chemicals to the environment.  Especially since our place is laced with creeks and water drainage.  The water that washes down our creek is generally full of trash and debris anyway.  I think most people would say, "It's already nasty, how could you possibly make it any worse with the minimal possibility of a little runoff?"  I don't buy that argument.  We all have to do our part.  I will do mine whether others make the same choice or not.

I guess in a way I am a little bit of an environmentalist.  Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I believe in good stewardship of the environment.  That is all of our responsibility.  It can be as simple as properly disposing of trash rather than throwing it on the roadside.  Or, as complex as re-purposing things like tires into mineral feeders or water tanks.  You might ask how that is complex -- well, it isn't exactly easy to do it properly, therefore it must be complex....

But, what does all this have to do with labor?  Well, it is pretty simple.  We surround ourselves with labor-saving devices.  Riding lawnmowers, automobiles, weed eaters, edgers, electric hedge trimmers, leaf blowers, and on and on.  All of those things require more resources, more energy and contribute more to waste both in exhaust and the used-up item than would be contributed if we put a little elbow grease into the task. 

One of my pet-peeves is to hear about people who pay large membership fees to a local gym so they can "work out" yet have riding lawnmowers and all of the labor-saving conveniences money can buy.  It seems to me that it would be a wiser use of resources (money being one of them) to apply the physical labor to those things where we have the "labor-saving conveniences" and drop the then unnecessary membership to the gym.  Oh, well.  What does common sense have to do with anything anymore...

Yeah, I'm physically tired.  But, I'm also probably in better physical condition than most people my age.  Part of that is genetic.  Part of it is that I have never felt myself to be above physical labor.

My first job that I remember working for someone else was hoeing cotton.  There wasn't any cotton involved today, but there was a little hoeing.  Brought back some memories.  I think I used some muscles I haven't used in awhile.

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