Alethea & Athena (double_dear) wrote,
Alethea & Athena

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Grapes of... character building?

As I said would probably be the case, we did in fact suck it up and go grape-picking today. We learned two things: First, we're weaker than we thought (at least this weekend; could it have been the lack of breakfast cereal we've been suffering?). And second, we feel more guilty about not doing the best we can on a job than not doing it at all to begin with.

The waking up part wasn't entirely bad--we made sure to go to bed early. When we got to the vineyard, we headed to where our ward was and immediately got to work. For those of you who aren't familiar with grape harvesting, the grapes grow on vines that are on wires a few feet above the ground. The people picking the grapes would have a tub that they'd sit down next to them, and they'd take a knife or some... pruning shears? I don't know gardening terms, but anyway, something with which to cut the grapes off the vines (although I think I saw someone just pulling), and let the grapes fall into the tubs as they work. Since these grapes are specifically to make raisins with, when the tub gets full, they toss all the grapes out onto a thick sheet of paper (they called them "trays," which was a little confusing at first) to sit in the sun and dry out.

So when we got to where our ward was picking, the bishop's wife was laying down trays, and we started helping, so she asked if we wanted to do that job. We did, because then we wouldn't have to use sharp things or bury ourselves in the vines or worry about spiders crawling all over our arms. What we failed to take into account was the fact that laying trays required constant bending up and down. Actually, I guess it didn't, because we saw some people doing it without bending down, but, I don't know, for some reason, we didn't. I think it was the perfectionists in us, wanting to lay them down just right. I thought about staying crouched down the whole time we moved down the row, but between rows of grapevines, there's an area they try to keep very smooth so the rain doesn't puddle up, and so we only had a very narrow area that we could walk in, so it would have been like sitting in a catcher's position, while moving all down the row, and it probably wouldn't have been much less exhausting.

Anyway. We did that for a while and then couldn't really hold ourselves up because we hadn't had enough to drink and we hadn't had anything to eat. So we went in search of food and eventually found the donuts that had been brought for our ward. I ate mine very slowly, because when I haven't eaten in too long, I have a hard time making myself eat. It seems kind of counterproductive, but that's how it was.

When we went back to work, we had a friend working with us, but she seemed to be having similar problems to ours (only she was also running on less sleep), so she went home. We finished up the row by ourselves, and by then all the trays had been laid on our ward's rows, and we were tired and therefore even more reluctant to really get into the vines. In retrospect, doing the actual picking probably would have been easier, because there's a place to sit under the vines, you wouldn't constantly be standing up and down, and, because of the vines, it's in the shade. Epimetheus.

So we sat down and rested for a while, which we figured, while not the best thing to do, was not entirely evil because one, we really were exhausted, and two, our ward seemed pretty close to finishing. Then there was a row next to one of ours that didn't have any work done on it, so the bishop and the stake president told people who were finishing with the rows they were on to get to work on that one. We figured we'd gotten enough rest by then (slackers), so we got up and laid some more trays down. But it didn't take long at all before I bent down to put a tray on the ground and almost couldn't find the power to get back up. We decided it was time to stop.

But people were still working, and there we were, just sitting there. I mean, heck, we hadn't passed out yet--we could still work! But we reeeeeeeeeeeally didn't want to. And I wasn't sure it would have been healthy. But that doesn't mean I don't think we should have anyway. Our home teacher and the stake president said that even what we did do was a big help.

On the way home, Mom said that at least now we didn't have to feel guilty for not going, but I think we would have felt less guilty if we hadn't. Maybe like an out of sight, out of mind kind of thing? Since we wouldn't have seen people working all around us. Oh well, it's over now.

Today I'm thankful for people who enjoy farmwork, being home and showered, the guy that came and offered us donuts while we were waiting for Steve so we could go home (we like to take him as a sign that we at least didn't fail at life), the maintenance guy who came and got the dryer to work (we couldn't shower afterward until we did laundry! *whimper*), and having Yume no Ukihashi to pass the time while we waited for our clothes to get clean. Although now we've been totally spoiled about Yukitaka. We might have to take a break and play more Haruka 2 before going on with this.
Tags: church, life

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