Wednesday, November 28, 2007

pruning boy #012

"Episode 12: Tales from the migrant worker seat"

Within my employment of Son & Dad Tree Service, Inc. there are five seasonal jobs that each come once a year. They involve the maintaining of a certain kind of tree: spring fertilizing, three separate pest sprayings, and a winter fertilizing. Recently, we started the winter fertilizing,

There are usually somewhere between 80-120 customers on our list who want one, some, or all of the tree maintenance jobs. If we work from sun-up to sun-down, we can usually get all of them within two or three days.

These are very easy and monotonous jobs. No where near as exciting as taking down a multi-ton mesquite tree or a tall pine that MUST fall a certain direction. No elements of danger like me sliding around atop a two-story metal roof, hoisting up a fully extended pole saw to a limb that I must catch so no windows will break.

Just a couple of old men and me making routine stops. And a lot of time to ponder the universe.

Often on these tree maintenance jobs, we spend the first hour or so discovering all of the equipment failures since it’s been sitting unused for a few months. Like realizing the spray rig needs a new battery or some repair. Or there’s a flat tire on the trailer. Or the metal scoops for the fertilizer had deteriorated with holes because they weren’t washed last spring.

So I muse: this is fucking brilliant. We are a confederacy of dunces.

Meanwhile, I pray every hour that I won’t be here a year from now doing this again. Yet I’m keeping in mind that I took this quirky job after being instructed so by the CEO via a dream the night before this job was offered.

And I’m still convinced my family and I are in a wilderness period of our lives. The wilderness is where one has absolutely no resources except the lord. The wilderness is where the lord has someone travel as a training period for some greater future task, calling, ministry, whatever. The wilderness can last a long damn time.

Yet, while I enter the backyards of some of the wealthiest citizens of the fair mother city...

...and as I sit in the migrant worker seat (the wood bench in the back of the van with no seat belt and a metal coffee can of tools in my lower back), I ponder...

Just what the hell is this great future task? And is there really a future task?

Maybe I should have sold out long ago for the stellar career and the American dream. And drink a lot more beer.


JesusFreak said...

I have a huge tree in my front yard that is threatening to crash down on my kids (it taunts me whenever I park underneath it). Are y'all pretty expensive?

Anonymous said...

sold out? nope, don't even go there.

Ashlee said...

When we first moved to Wisconsin in 2005 we definetely entered into a wilderness period. It lasted approx. 2 years. I'm thankful for what God showed us during that period, but I'm also thankful it is over.