The sun finally arrived on our last day of converting sap to syrup. I was thinking this week as I gathered the last buckets to wash and put away that I’d much prefer the heavy lifting and slippery walks through the woods than Planet Fitness. I want to be able to complain, dress funny and judge others. The trees don’t seem to mind.
One night while picking up more buckets for sap at LOWES a woman was wearing her workout pants. I couldn’t help notice the way the shadows fell on her backside. It was obvious she put in good hours at the gym, but the shadows made it look like she was sweating in all the wrong places. In the woods the shadows fall and no one sees them–besides stretch pants would catch on stray branches. When will the stretch clothes go out of fashion? I feel I’m getting to know people too personally. At LOWES it just seems inappropriate.
Making syrup gives me hours to complain, get restless, complain again about the weather and cold feet, feel bad about unfashionable farm clothes and complain because I’m hungry. I’ve learned to keep most of this as an internal commentary but my husband reads my mind, laughing to himself and putting on more wood.
Our neighbor came over to see if we knew anything about a dog mauling her cat. It’s paw was gone and leg broken. They had to put it down. Politely she asked about our Nala. Thank God, Nala has a new shock collar as evidence that she was with us during the brutal attack–looking as restless as I felt. We were finished with her chasing fitness people jogging by our house with their babies and dogs. The neighbor decided her cat was killed by a fisher–the ablest evil predator on land according to someone we heard somewhere.
Did I mention that we got TEN GALLONS of syrup this year? That’s nothing for some people, but for us it’s pretty great. Once the peepers chirp and the worst of the heavy lifting is over I begin to forget how much I don’t love sapping. I think back and say I really enjoyed the first frigid days of standing in ankle deep mud for hours drinking coffee until I felt like vomiting.
My husband does seem to really enjoy the whole thing. He likes tending the fire, estimating evaporation rate, making little improvements and providing syrup for his family. It’s kind of inspiring to see him take it so seriously. He never even complains. It’s weird.