I met a man last week who said “the best job I ever had” was on a GM repair line where he spent the day doing crossword puzzles and sudoku. Then he went home and patted himself on the back for another day well done.
It reminded me of the best job I've ever had when I was a kid. It lasted all summer and, near the last part of August, I got paid in peaches. As many as I could eat.
Back then, the arrival of Colorado peaches meant the summer season of food harvesting was nearly done. We spent our summers swimming and bike riding like everyone else, but after the work was finished.
We had corn to shuck. And green beans to snap. Apples to peel. And tomatoes to slice. Blueberries to pick. And weeds to rip out by the hair.
And when we were done with that? The food had to be preserved for winter because food doesn’t preserve itself.
That corn was cut off the cob and frozen. The green beans were canned. The tomatoes went into homemade salsa which would burn your eyes for days, even when you were sure you kept your hands away from your face.
But when it was all done, we ate like kings. And slept like the dead.
I know work is now considered a bad word. Getting something for nothing is considered the ultimate achievement. But, without the labor, I don't think that Colorado peach we waited all summer for would have ever been as sweet.