Meet Me Monday Blog Hop

I’m taking part in my very first blog hop! Thanks to Rachel Firasek for starting the Meet Me Monday Blog Hop!  Rachel Firasek’s Meet-Me-Monday Blog Hop Sign Up

I’ll post something about myself, that maybe everyone doesn’t already know, and hopefully, you’ll share something about yourself in comments. Please link to your own blog or site in your comment, so everyone can drop by and say hey.

So, the whole something about me thing now. Hmmm. Okay, here goes.

I grew up on a farm, and tobacco was our main crop, though we also had beef and dairy cattle, and raised corn and hay as well. My mother worked the fields alongside my father, and took me with her. I spent many days in my playpen under a tree while they worked not far away.

At around 3 or 4 years, I started working, too. Then it was my job to “pig-tail”, or follow the tobacco setter to fill in any plant spaces the machine missed. I had a little curved stick, or “peg”, to poke the hole for the plant. The setter took care of the water, so I just had to put the plant in the ground.

As I got older, I graduated to harder, more dangerous work. My parents were over-protective, so I was in my mid-teens before I was allowed to use the crazy-sharp knives to cut the grown plants, or climb up into the barn to hang the cut tobacco.

Other than occasionally helping out while we were home on leave, I haven’t worked the fields since leaving home for college. And I miss it terribly – even the aching-burning-sore muscles, blistering sunburns, cuts-scrapes-bruises, bleeding blistered hands, ass dragging tired, before daylight ’til long after dark, and the danger of lifting 40lbs from below my feet to above my head while I balanced with each foot on two inch poles three feet apart while 30 feet off the ground.

So now you know. I’m not the brightest, or sanest, person – who in their right mind misses that kind of work? I do think maybe all those years of hard physical work that didn’t require a great deal of thought or interaction with others allowed me to develop the imagination necessary to become a writer, though. To me, that makes all that work worthwhile in more ways than the obvious.

How about you? Is there something about you that most people don’t know? Come on, you know there is.

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10 responses to “Meet Me Monday Blog Hop

  1. Okay, that is totally cool. Tobacco? Really? So awesome. Of course, when you were doing all the work, I’m sure you didn’t think it was. lol. Thanks for sharing.

    • The funny thing is, even in the middle of the worst of it, I enjoyed it. I’ve always been interested in my heritage, and this was part of it. There was something about planting in the same ground my ancestors did, 5+ generations ago. And when my dad had time, while we worked, he would tell stories passed down through his family.

    • Whew! Glad I’m not the only newbie, too 🙂

      I suffered pretty serious culture shock when I married a soldier and went from my quiet little farm community – even the university I went to was in a tiny little town – to the serious hustle of a big Army post.

      I’ll definitely stop by!

  2. Very interesting, Kenra! I grew up in Western Maryland’s farm country, and dated a farm boy in high school – my first love, actually! – but never farmed myself! Great share!

    🙂 Laura

  3. Kenra, this is awesome. You REALLY worked the fields! My grandparents had a truck farm, and my dad used to pick strawberries in other people’s fields when he was a teenager – it was his job in the summertime. He hated it, lol…and after Korea, he went to Columbia School of Journalism to get his Masters and never looked back. He’s written a butt-load of novels and sold most of them, too. I wonder if his time on the farm gave him his imagination? Great to meet you!

    • Nice to meet you, Christine! Ack! Strawberries! I *despised* crawling through those fields picking berries! Strawberry picking fell between tobacco setting and cutting, and one of our neighbors grew them. Since we traded labor back and forth, we did that, too. The bugs attracted by the berries were the worst!

      Picking black berries was as bad – instead of crawling through the fields, you had to get in amongst the brambles and briars, and hope you didn’t step on a big snake lying in wait for birds. Making the jams and preserves was almost as bad, penned up in the hot kitchen stirring pots, and lifting jars out of boiling water.

      Your dad being a novelist is totally cool! What wonderful inspiration!

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