Bags of Bran


Paying off the farmers who deliver our eggs
April 1, 2015, 12:35 pm
Filed under: Bike, Biography

Today marks the first time in several days I’ve been on my bike. Last week was, for some reason, abnormally busy with work-related workloads of work that needed to be worked upon. Furthermore, it was cold and yicky outside, so I felt extra diligent to get all of that workety work done. Then both of my special ladies got sick at the same time; then it was Sunday; then I got sick; and here I am.

Life doesn’t stop for illness. For example, there was a high school baseball game last night, and all us sickies went and sat in the cold and watched our local heroes fall in defeat to a somewhat lousy team. “YOU’RE NOT MAKING US ANY HEALTHIER WITH THOSE FIELDING ERRORS,” we shouted encouragingly at the young men on the field.

While we were away at the game, our egg delivery showed up from the farmers up the road. They have an assortment of egg-laying fowl prowling their premises (or, to soothe your conscience, “free range”), laying their eggs in nooks and crannies and snowmobiles and coffee cans and coils of rope and anywhere else they feel will surprise and amaze the farm children who collect them. I hope they don’t read this, but the eggs are so much better than store eggs that we’d pay just about whatever they asked for them. We’re not even sure what kind of birds they come out of, but they’re delicious and “free range,” so everybody wins.

The eggs showed up, as I mentioned above, while we were gone, so I volunteered to deliver the payment by bicycle in the morning, anticipating that it would be warm and nice out, and that it would be good for me. The farm is about 3 miles up the road, and so it seemed like a perfectly semi-ambitious adventure when I wasn’t feeling all that perky. I boarded my trusty steed (which is not to implicate its stablemates as “un-trusty,” but simply to indicate that I happen to trust this steed), swung by the church to drop off a backpack full of books, and then set course for the farm.

It’s uphill half the way to the farm, then downhill the other half, mercifully. I am confident that I lost about half a pound from the various cargo that my sinuses decided to jettison during the uphill portion of the ride, but that’s disgusting, so perhaps you should just forget that you read that sentence. After what seems now like not a terrific amount of effort, I finally arrived. The Mrs. Farmer was just descending the hill from the upper section of their farm upon a four-wheeler when I arrived. The transaction was characteristically Midwestern:

“You folks delivered some eggs to us last night,” I vouchsafed.

“Yup,” she said, confirming that her end of the transaction was situated comfortably among the verities of history.

“I need to pay you. Here you go. Fifteen, right?” I said, flaunting the excellent coaching I had received from my wife, who embodies the Department of Commerce around our household.

“Yup,” she said again, taking the now-sweaty bills that I had drawn forth from my pocket, clearly in admiration of the docility with which I had learned the subtle art of handshake transactions from my helpmeet.

“Great, thanks again,” I said conflictedly, simultaneously relieved at having completed my duties and apprehensive at having to climb back up that wretched half-a-hill on County O to get back to the office.

“Yup,” she said, as was her idiom, breaking her standing tradition only by adding “Thank you!” as a nod to the broader conventions of society. Off she went on her four-wheeler.

Off I pedaled in the springy sunshine, pockets lighter by $15, conscience lighter at having paid off our debt to our favorite farmers, and head lighter from the germs in my upper respiratory system slashing and burning after the fashion of the barbarian hordes pillaging a medieval fishing village.

Spring is here!

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