Home Island Life Some Fine Seasonal Workers, Indeed

Some Fine Seasonal Workers, Indeed

Some Fine Seasonal Workers, Indeed
Room with a view for a hard day's work.
Room with a view for a hard day’s work.

My old farmhouse has a history of housing seasonal workers, or so states a 1917 sale pamphlet, “Upstairs there are two large sleeping porches, suitable for seasonal workers.” Close to one hundred years later, I’d have to say that assertion still stands true, well actually half true; one sleeping porch was converted to a luxuriously large closet in the eighties. So while one sleeping porch remains wonderfully intact and welcoming, the other is a now closet where the only thing resting is a dated wardrobe of earlier sizes, styles, and occupations. It’s unlikely I will ever need a 1982 Armani suit (especially the 42 regular part), one where the shoulder pads are begging to poke an eye out, and the wide pant legs could easily conceal a shopping cart of frozen game hens. And yet they remain in my possession, but I digress.

Sleeping porch as closet: a restful place for things I don't need.
Sleeping porch as closet: a restful place for things I no longer wear or use.

Last month I put the sleeping porch to good use as an extra guest room in my full house. My mom, sister, brother and sister-in-law came for a visit, or as I like to think of it, a forced-labor camp with better food and accommodations. Before you judge me, I had nothing to do with it. You see my mother is a tour de force, an octogenarian with more energy, ideas and capability than most folks half her age. We have a family joke. When my mother asks, “What should we do next?” I respond, “Take a nap.”

I pay my workers in pie.
I pay my workers in pie. (Please note the spick-and-span counter replete with white grout and shiny tile.)

My mother has a very big heart and recognizes that my place and its projects can be a little daunting for one person. She sees to it that while we have a serious measure of fun and family time, we don’t let the opportunity to help around the farm escape us. And while her kids are loafing a bit, she has a stealthy knack of getting things done right under our noses. I’ll open a drawer and see polished silver. I’ll return from the greenhouse and wonder while my gray grout is white and kitchen tile gleaming. I go upstairs to find a work shirt and stumble into a closet where clothing is folded, ironed and organized. I send her off to pick raspberries, and my next visit to the patch finds weeded pathways. She, and my sister and sister-in-law brought a much-loved, lichen and moss-covered garden swing back to a state of full utility and beauty. I must admit the energetic women in my family have the guys beat, big time.

Summer 2010: My Dad and brother Bill supervising the weeding crew.

Yep, I’m a lucky guy, lucky to have such caring family and friends in my life. Big thanks to Mom, sis, my sister-in-law and brother for a wonderful time and for your hard work and helping hand. The laughs will be well-remembered, your efforts always appreciated and your love, undeniably felt.

My good looking work crew taking a rare break.
Taking a break: My good looking work crew cleans up nicely.



    • Thanks Kim, Mom is one in a million, and she’ll appreciate your kind comment, as do I. And I haven’t forgotten about that pool of yours. 😉

  1. Hi Tom,
    I continue to enjoy your blog…especially liked the one recently posted on what’s not to like about your two pooches…what we can learn from them. They sure do have expressive faces! One question: Are you writing in the room you transformed for that purpose? You really do have a way with words and I’d read your book if you write one. You have a gift for making one smile….and laugh… and we need all the humor we can collect when so much of what comes to us is sad news. So thanks for the weekly reports…know I can count on being cheered up!

    • Thank you Nancy, your words really touched me. As for the room where I write, well, uh, ummmm….you see I did gussy it up and paint and put a table to write on in the room, but I still can’t seem to pry myself from the kitchen nook. At night I do work in that upstairs office room, but during the day, I’m in and out and the nook is an easy drop in for catching up and writing. Again, thanks for your kinds words and maybe a book is in my future, but it will have to wait until late fall when the rain and clouds return. Warm regards!

  2. Tom,
    Was wondering when there would be a post regarding the family visit. Yes, you do have a special family and your Mom can work circles around all of us in Florida. Great to hear your side of the stories. Heard that you had some awsome flowering plants.

    • Vern we had a great visit and Mom is still a dynamo. As for the garden, it’s going gangbusters, as long as I water that is. I’ll post some photos of the garden soon. Thanks Vern

  3. I’m glad to see you’ve answered your true calling… Writing .. I mean farming.. No cooking and baking! Whichever it is – you wear all the hats well.

    I love to read your blog!

    Your family sounds wonderful –
    Have a great summer!

    • Thanks Kathy, it’s been a lovely summer, and I do like to be in the kitchen and the garden, and of course the hammock (for well-deserved breaks). Thank you for visiting and shining some sunshine with your comments. Most appreciated.

  4. Tom, you crack me up ! Your Mom is wonderful ! House and gardens are looking good. Fig tree loaded with baby figs … fingers crossed. Thanks !

  5. Looks like you have a happy crew there! I especially like reading your posts about family. Speaking of which…I think your 1982 shoulder pads have some cousins in my closet.

  6. I have a Japanese buyer for that Armani suit : )

    Next time, mom wants a project, send her to Jersey. She will fit right in with my Japanese projectoholic wife ..

    Now, how about some pics of the cabins in the back ? : )


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