Tuesday, July 15, 2014

...or hardly working?

The Boss has a favorite story.  He loves to tell it…but, even he admits that he messes it up every time.  He then turns to me (mid-story) and says, “Wait…I’m messing this up…YOU tell it.”

Here it is…

I first heard the story in high school, I think.  I loved it, particularly since I was certain I knew someone very much like the fisherman. My very own Granddaddy. I hope you’ll read this tribute to a great man. (click here)

I had two male role models in my childhood, one was Granddaddy…who would spend hours on the porch, telling stories to a little red-headed girl, drinking Coca-Cola out of green glass bottles with his cronies, feeding the squirrels and attempting to train “Mr. Crow” (who was indeed a wild crow who would follow commands for peanuts). The other was a single-minded workaholic who drove himself and everyone around him with a relentless will. The contrast was stark and made a lasting impression on that little red-headed girl.  While hardly a day goes by that I don’t think of my Granddaddy, not much thought is given to the other… (borrowing a line from Shinedown’s song “BULLY”) “all you’ll ever be is a faded memory of a bully…and no one’s gonna cry on the very day you die…  but, I digress.

Somewhere along life’s way, I realized I really wanted to be more like my Granddaddy, who, although he was a farm-boy from Maryland, was the embodiment of the Mexican fisherman story.

The Boss had the privilege of growing up with a Dad who took time with the family and the neighbors.  Fond memories of DadWomack abound even forty years after his untimely death at the age of 44.  …and somehow, I think DadWomack knew the secret of the Mexican fisherman, too.  So, learning to take LIFE as it comes and truly live it comes easily to the Boss. (he’s a lot like my granddaddy in other ways, too)

So, as a team, we aspire to the Mexican fisherman…working hard, but never too hard…making time for “our full and busy life” (I’d probably add happy in there, too).

For every person that tells us how hard we work, there’s always someone who thinks we should do more, be more…maybe even “get a real job”. Read this. That’s okay, they’re entitled to their opinion.  But, I’m just sayin’ here and now…A REAL job…”ain’t happenin’!”

Yes, we have been known to put in long, hard days. I’ve pulled my fair share of 18+ hour days baking for the Market. (thank God those days are done!)  There are times when we are on call 24/7.  Farm work does occasionally interfere with our other plans.   And, yes, sometimes this life even feels a little stressful.  But, for the most part, we do what we need to in order to provide for our family’s needs and little else. Although, growing food (that everyone needs) means that we always have something to share with those less fortunate than ourselves.

We made a conscious effort in the early days of our marriage to keep our needs few and simple.  Our move to the Valley just further enforced that lifestyle. I know that if we worked harder, longer, put in more gardens, rented land for more animals, hired some farm hands or at the very least got a few interns, we could make more, more, more.  We could be something…we could be impressive. We might even be a “real farm”.  But, again…”ain’t happenin’!”   (and NO, I’m not saying big is bad…or ambition is evil…it just isn’t our style)

The hard work of our day to day life is countered by the ability to sit down, relax and enjoy it.  While the Boss may not play guitar, and neither one of us ever sleeps late, it has long been our desire to emulate “the Mexican fisherman”. Our kids know we love them, we eat well, enjoy our work environment and have time for our family and friends. To our minds, we do indeed “lead a full and busy life”.

There are some who would say that we waste time.  Well…they’re probably right.  And, that’s okay.  We’re doing what works for us. Here, read this...  We don’t see retirement in our future. Working real hard now in hopes of enjoying the rewards later just isn't an option.  So, we better make sure our work load is one we can deal with for a long time. (Do I dare say we’d like to keep it at a “sustainable” level?)

-Giammarino & Dworkin Photography

 Life is a fragile gift and we only get one shot at it. I don’t want to squander that gift on things that really won’t matter to me in the end.

 I won't break my back for a million bucks I can't take to my grave
So why put off for tomorrow what I could get done today
Like go for a walk, say a little prayer
Take a deep breath of mountain air…
-toby keith – “My List”



  1. I LOVE that photo of you two. I even saved it in my iPhoto so I can always have a picture of my friend Barbara and her husband!
    As for your philosophy of life, it is ours, too.
    Have you gotten any rain out of the forts going through the past couple of days? hope so.

    1. Awwww...thanks, Maureen!
      I knew we were kindred spirits. :)
      Nope...no rain. Well, enough to "wet your shirt" (as one of my old guy friends says) but, nothing to amount to much. I keep hoping!
      Update on the lamb: she's still kickin'! I've given her some vitamins, and this gloppy concoction of yogurt and molasses (that usually helps when they won't eat). She's still punk, but tries to stay with the flock...we'll see...

  2. I not only enjoyed this post, but very much enjoyed the tribute to your grandfather. Thanks for sharing.


    1. You're always so encouraging. Thanks, Lori!

  3. Well said, Barbara. You and the Boss look happy and content - what more could you want out of life?