A typical work day

I pack a lunch, spray on sunblock and strap on my new sandals for today’s canoe ride.

Oh, except we’re not taking a canoe to the river destination anymore, we’re driving there. So I leave my backpack in the car, along with my hat and sunglasses, since those interfere with picture-taking anyway. I almost leave behind my notebook, but think better of it because I’ve already forgotten a few interesting things that were said before my pen was poised.

My guides take nothing with them, so this must be a quick foray.

We walk in dirt and sand and rocks and I should be wearing much better shoes for this. I would not have chosen to wear sandals if I had not been advised specifically to do so. By the guy walking alongside me wearing hiking shoes. Still, these are sport sandals and not flip flops, so I’m doing all right. Getting my feet a little dirty, but not injuring myself or anything.

I own waders and I own rubber boots, but we don’t cross the river on foot. We climb onto the back of an excavator and ride it across the gravel bars. Nobody tells me to be careful not to touch the exhaust pipe and I accidentally bump my hand against it. It hurts and I see a dime-sized bubble of burned skin but much more uncomfortable is the hot orange metal against my bum. I shift my weight and wonder if I’m also getting burned through the synthetic fabric of my pants.

I slide the notebook under one cheek, but it’s still really hot. I’ve been to India, I remind myself. I can take this.

At our destination, I take lovely pictures, but wish I had the sunglasses and hat because my eyes hurt from the sun. Also, I’m lonesome for my water bottle right about now.

After a couple of hours, we ride the excavator part way and hike through brambles the rest of the way to the car. I do not scratch my feet on any of the branches crisscrossing my path, because I am careful.

I return to the home office and make a few calls, before taking a break with a glass of iced tea on a plastic Adirondack chair in the backyard, watching my dog chase bugs.

Rob gets home and wonders how it is that he leaves for work before me and finds me at home again when he returns. Then he puts burn cream on my hand.

Frequently I have spent most of the day goofing off, and feel guilty because Rob works harder than I do. But today, I know that I am very good at my job.

Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

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