Monday, September 15, 2014


When I was a teen I had a summer job as a swamper during the cherry harvest.  It was a regular summer job for me for maybe four years.

There were basically three jobs in the orchard -- picker, swamper and counter.  In some of the larger orchards you would also have a driver.  I worked in a small orchard, so I both drove and swamped.

My job was to arrive at the orchard at 6 a.m., hook up a trailer to a tractor, drive over to pick up a load of empty bins (four bins to a trailer), and then drive up and down the rows of cherry trees collecting boxes of cherries.  A counter rode with me to tally up how many boxes the pickers had.  After the count, I would empty the boxes into the bins.  When all four bins were full, I would drive the load to the pick-up site, unload the full bins, then drive over and load up with empties.  The cycle continued until at least 6 at night, and sometimes later.

Today I have proofed a Sunday bulletin, sort of began the process of looking at Sunday's gospel reading (equal pay for unequal work periods), fielded one phone call about our broken stained glass window, learned of four parishioners who were on a Level 1 evacuation notice due to a new fire, talked with one of those parishioners for about 45 minutes getting her calmed down enough to think straight, and met with one parishioner in person who is self-described as "burnt out on church."

I still have a meeting with my Senior Warden scheduled.

Some days I miss the swamping.


Lady Anne | 3:29 PM, September 19, 2014  

Many years ago my best friend and I took our assorted kids to an apple orchard for a do-it-yourself day. After we had loaded her car, we tried to drive back up the hill to have the apples weighed so we could pay for them. We'd get about half-way up the hill and the car would start to slide on dropped apples. After about four attempts to climb the "applesauce mountain" the farmer came down to tell us we could drive onto the road, about twenty feet from where we had started.

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