Each of them quit work on Labor Day, with the respective beginnings of dove season and surf fishing. One would not go back to work until at least the end of deer hunting season. The other guy was worse-he laid out until the end of rabbit season (which also coincided with when bass were moving off the spawning beds).
Both these fellows had very tolerant wives, healthy children, and were happy as larks, although their in-laws didn't like them very much. They were both successful hunters-they had to be, since by the middle of January, their families were eating nothing but game and fish.
As much as I enjoy hunting, I'd have to pick another time of the year to quit work and goof off-spring.
I use the term 'goof off' figuratively, since there's too much to do and enjoy to allow one to lay around in the sun all day. Of course, lying around in the sun all day is one of those most important spring chores I'd have to make time to do.
At last count, there are two different events with which I'm involved that need some more of my time and effort. There are four more that I know I won't get to attend.
I need to work on the fence. The yard needs mowing, but before that happens, I have to work on the lawnmower-both of them, actually.
We know where we're going to put the garden this year, but it hasn't progressed beyond laying out some logs for borders. Miss Rhonda has started giving me meaningful little hints and dirty looks whenever breaking up the dirt is mentioned.
Of course, if I get a garden cut up and we get it planted, I'll have to sit on the porch and keep an eye out for hungry rabbits. We have several very nervous cottontails and one big marsh hare in the yard right now. I love watching rabbits play in the early morning, or in the light of a clear, full moon. They seem to make the most of spring.
If our proposed garden survives exposure to my black thumbs, I need to transplant some small trees. With my ability to kill any plant by touching it, those saplings are in enough danger without my waiting too long to plant them elsewhere.
The stripers and the catfish are getting restless in the river, and if I don't get out there soon, somebody else might catch all of them first. The Nonsuch really needs another coat of paint, or at least a paddle or two around Duke's Pond. A neglected boat is a sad, sad thing; in fact, I think it's against the law in some more progressive states.
Come to think of it, Duke the Dog needs a good swim, and all the other dogs need baths, a canine version of spring cleaning to shake off the fur of winter.
My building-one of my more classical architectural nightmares, it does credit to every other shed I've ever built-needs a little more work. That's a spring-time chore of the first order, and one in which I take a perverse pride, since I am not a carpenter.
Getting the building completed means I'll be able to finish cleaning off the front porch, or at least the carport.
I need to work on the old barn and the pumphouse too, and that patch in the roof of the house is showing suspicious signs of leaking again.
There are a half-dozen graveyards and old homesites I need to explore before the biting and stinging insects lay claim to the woods again until the frosts of fall.
All the vehicles need oil changes and tune-ups, since they seem to do better when tuned alternately for warm or cold weather. A good washing wouldn't hurt either, since I try very hard to wash our cars every two or three years, whether they need it or not.
I need to do some hunting, too. Not turkeys, although I'd like to have time to chase a gobbler, but carpenter bees.
Those aggressive little wood-destroyers are back, and if I don't soon break out the badminton rackets and a .22 (loaded with ratshot), they'll run us off the porch. Sitting on the porch lazily whacking carpenter bees is prime entertainment.
I really need to trim the hedge, too, and sucker some of the trees in and around the yard. Those that I trimmed last year did nicely, and I ought to take the time to sit on the porch and admire them.
Of course, trimming the hedges might run off the hummingbirds, sparrows, finches and other birds. Maybe I'll just sit on the porch and watch them instead. I need to sharpen the hedge clippers anyway.
Besides, if the hedges are high enough, nobody can see when if I'm wearing my pajamas and bathrobe when I go out to enjoy the first cup of coffee of the morning. Spring is a good time to do that.
But without a good clipping, the hedges can grow so high to block the view of the stars, and everybody knows spring and fall are the best time to watch the constellations and planets whirl across a blue-black sky. The faithful stargazer will even get the occasional fleeting reward of a meteor or fireball as it barrels a few thousand more miles before burning up.
Even if I could afford to do so, I am not sure I could stand quitting work for three or four or five months just because of season. I doubt Mr. Mike would be very amused, anyway.
It's springtime, and I just have too much work to do to have time for work. Maybe I can organize things a bit better if I sit on the porch for a while.