EXCELLENT! Mission Accomplished. Seeds ordered from Fedco. We’re now ready for seed-starting in the greenhouse in late February. Soon, depending upon the climate, we’ll be able to start the maple sugaring process. I say WE, but I really mean my husband, Andrew. You see, Andrew is the youngest, (underaged 60), member of a group of sextuagenarian + fellas who get together to harvest and make maple syrup at the farm of a woman, named Wendy, who’s inherited this practice from her long-gone Dad. The way it’s been explained to me is that they’re ‘traditional’, and don’t like to have any women involved in their activities, unless it’s Wendy, bringing them muffins and biscuits and hot coffee, while they’re hard at work producing the sweet stuff, and nipping at their flasks. Last winter was a dangerous one. Deep snow glazed with a deadly layer of ice set the scene, and the ‘fellas’ were neither willing nor able to brave the elements, check on the sap flow and harvest the sap. Andrew, of course, volunteered. Michelle, of course, said “there’s no #$&^(*way that you’re going out there without a spotter. Therefore, together, Andrew and I collected the sap, stored it, reset the buckets, and did this over and over again over a two month period. Cold. Dangerous. Nice. Bonding. Cold. Dangerous.
It was a boon year for maple syrup. The ‘fellas’ did a great job of boiling it down, and our good neighbor/member ‘fella’, did a wonderful and selfless job of distributing the goods, which we’re enjoying to this very day.
Of course, no-one was or is aware of my ( a woman’s) contribution, however paltry’ it may have been to their effort. It’s fine….I don’t really mind….but, BUT, well, I guess that I DO mind, after all. I guess I mind because I was concerned about the safety and well-being of one of their own being out there without any safety net or back-up. What if Andrew fell, slipped on the ice, was knocked unconscious? His cell phone wouldn’t help him, would it? If you ‘fellas’ are neither up to the physical job, nor up to the managerial job of arranging assistance and safety for one of ‘your own’, and a petite woman must rise to the occasion to ensure safety and partnership, then, all I can say is that you ‘Fellas’ are careless, indifferent, unkind and need a reality check. This post, of course, relies on Andrew’s veracity, and, so forgive me if I’m ill-informed. I don’t like to say this but I’m afraid I must. This is no longer your world. You’re unwillingness and inability to invite diversity into your enclave, makes you obsolete. Your world was small, is small and rapidly becoming smaller still. That smallness will bite you hard. Maybe not now, with your wives and partners, but very soon, and very definitely. Your children and your grand-children are rejecting your values at this very moment. They will try to remember you with fondness and compassion but, in truth, they will deeply regret that you did not embrace diversity. They will be told that “oh, that was a different time; a different generation. We’re not like that” But they will not accept it. In short, you will make them ashamed.
I hope you can live with that, my friends. I cannot. I chose not.
2 thoughts on “Angry Bird – Maple Sugaring”
I am flattered and grateful, Mary. By the way, I notice your address and see that we share a special something in our lives: Stonemen. Cheers, Mary, all the best.
Just wanted to say how much I enjoy these postings and what a pleasure it always is to see “Letters From Stone Well” in the inbox — I have been a subscriber for about a year. Many thanks for these fresh and thoughtful musings!
All the best from Ontario, Canada!