Friday, August 28, 2009

Summer jobs...

This is it, the final weekend of summer. School starts on Wednesday and I couldn't be happier the kids are a little bummed. It seems like forever ago, though, that they were in a classroom.

Tori socked away a bit of money these past few months, working as a coach at Girl Scout jump rope camps. I wanna say I never had a fun summer job like that, but I guess maybe I did.

The first summer job most of us kids had were commercial harvest jobs - picking strawberries in June and July, tomatoes and cucumbers in August. My brothers worked in tobacco, but I never would. The money was good, but the whole idea of contributing in any way to that industry disgusted me. Strawberry and tomato picking were piece work - paid by the flat (strawberries) or the hamper (tomatoes) and while you could make pretty decent money if you applied yourself, I was more interested in getting paid to work on my tan. I picked cucumbers for just one summer, I think, working for the aunt of one of the boys I went to high school with. Cucumbers were, in some ways, easier than tomatoes, since you were on a machine towed by a tractor. (::chuckle:: As I scouted the web for picker pictures, everything that comes up touts this sarcastically as an example of the modern mechanical marvels of Belarus) There you have it though. Helen had a dog, her name is long gone, who LOVED cucumbers. And the mushier and yellower and stinkier the better. If it was still edible, she'd eat it, and if not, she'd just roll in it, then run up along side the harvester for more. We'd toss them as far away as we could to keep her away from the tractor wheels.

When I wasn't tossing rotten fruit to dumb dogs or curing my hide into fine corinthian leather, I babysat. I can say with absolute certainty, in fact, that I was babysitting in the wee early hours of July 29, 1981.

And the summer after that, I worked as a counsellor at a Kiwanis summer camp. And that's where I met him. That wasn't the last summer job I had, but I can assure you I never went back to cucumbers or strawberries.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I was definitely babysitting when Charles & Di got married!
I spent 1 summer picking tobacco. Yuck!