Monday, August 29, 2005

The morning after.

I spent the weekend with my friend A at my grandparents' farm. I needed it, badly. I needed the country air. I needed to be pampered (being the oldest grandchild has many, many benefits, even if you are an adult). I needed sleep.

I got it all, baby. I slept at least 6.5 hours every night (although never contiguously). I ate too much. I watched my cousin play football. I mowed the lawn. I watched the sunset just beyond the quarry that's 1/2 a mile from their house. I played with a puppy. I had drinks bought for me repeatedly, although maintained my seemingly ill-advised beer ban.

The unfortunate side-effect of this weekend is a drastic awakening of my allergies. You see, my grandparents live on a farm surrounded, this year, with corn and soybean fields. The ditches by the side of the road are covered in goldenrod, weeds, and yes, marijuana. There's pollen galore out at the farm, especially in August, and I'm a miserable mess right now, with swollen, red eyes (from the hayfever, not the pot) and a overproductive snot factory right now.

The great part about all this is that I'm also extremely happy and at peace. I love where I live. I love Chicago. One of the greatest benefits of living here is that I'm so close to the farm- only about 2 hours by car, but a world away as far as how I feel. Out there, there's almost no stress, no hurry, and no one gets on my case for sleeping past 7. Plus, I get to mow the lawn.

This sounds like a silly thing, and I'll bet that most people think I like to do it because I get to drive a tractor, but the real reason I like to do it is because it's so fun. It has a Zen quality for me. There's no one but me, and the big ol' tractor, and the lawn- a kind of solitude that just fills my soul up. Sometimes, when no one's watching, I'll sing at the top of my lungs, too, not that they could hear me over the tractor. What do I sing? I Wanna Drive the Zamboni. Believe it or not, but my grandparents' backyard is probably just smaller than a football field, and definitely bigger than most hockey rinks- and that big ol' tractor is just right for me. More than once, my grandfather has watched me mow, then asked me afterwards why I did it the way I did. I try to explain, but hockey isn't all that popular out there, where football is king, and the subject is frequently glossed over. Zambonis are not farm equipment, and the nearest one I know of is 58 miles away.

Honestly, it's more fun than you might think. Much more.

Anyways, it was a delightful weekend, and if it weren't for the fact that I believe that my sinuses are going to explode, well, I'd be too happy.


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