Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

All Hands

with 6 comments

It’s that season when the fields come alive with humans and machines. A call must go out for all hands and able bodies for harvesting before the weather messes things up significantly. On my way home on Tuesday I came upon a batch of pickup trucks and workers busy in the fields around the corner from our driveway.

They were gobbling up soybeans and filling the big truck and trailer. It always seems odd to see such a big rig driven into the dirt fields. I don’t understand how they avoid getting stuck.

These fields are so devoid of attention all summer long, it’s startling to suddenly see them become such a hub of activity.

Our house experiences a burst of activity of its own when the soybeans fields are cut down. Suddenly our back doors become the new gathering place for Asian beetles.

The bugs were enjoying the warm sunshine around the backside of our house around the doors to the deck. I know that because I was back there, too.

Cyndie and I did a little more work replacing boards on the deck while the weather was still accommodating.









We were all hands on deck. Hah!

Now we hunker down for a few days of expected rain and even the first falling snow of the season. The deck project goes on hold until the next dry day shows up. Our bodies will be happy to have a break. I have done so much kneeling lately, I feel like a little kid on the floor playing with my Matchbox car collection.

Thank goodness I’m noticing my knees because that means my back hasn’t been grabbing attention. Knock on deck boards (wood) that my lower back has not flared up from all the leaning over for long periods of time.

What? Me superstitious?

Sending love to my lower back…



Written by johnwhays

October 10, 2019 at 6:00 am

6 Responses

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  1. Do chickens like the beetles?

    Ward Bell

    October 10, 2019 at 8:40 am

    • That is a great question, to which I have no answer. There are few things we have found that our chickens won’t eat, but there are some. The beetles are most visible up against the house, which is a place the chickens don’t roam. I don’t know if they cross paths much and if the chickens would eat them if they did.


      October 10, 2019 at 8:52 am

  2. The deck is really looking the part: I knew you’d make a fantastic job of it – yes, I know you haven’t quite finished but ‘well begun is half done’… as with most anything you set your mind to, it is a work of love. How important that ingredient is in the world… and don’t we miss it when it is not there! (That said, excuse my ignorance, but where did this tradition of ‘decks’ come from. It is not European or even South American. Really, I am reminded of the ships (and their respective decks) that must have brought so many people to the States and Canada.)

    Ian Rowcliffe

    October 10, 2019 at 7:06 am

    • I think a deck is a variation on a balcony, which is rather ubiquitous in architecture throughout history, no? I would say European, but then I can’t visualize balconies being absent from any other part of the world’s structures, either.


      October 10, 2019 at 7:34 am

      • Yes, but a balcony is rather small and narrow just affording a view from an upper window. Of course, people here have front door porches usually made of stone or paved, which are very often closed. I have a feeling that a deck really does emulate a ship’s deck complete with railing….’ Imagine the long, long journey of your fore fathers to America where the ship’s deck was treasured as a place to walk, relax and imagine a bright future as you look over the railings. The way you use them today for recreation seems to fit in with that deeply ‘ingrained’ experience. Whatever the origen, I am sure yours will be (is) a source of insight, inspiration and aspiration as you look outward on all that is and/or will be.

        Ian Rowcliffe

        October 11, 2019 at 7:52 am

      • Yes. Thank you!


        October 11, 2019 at 9:12 am

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