Farm Town

flowers outside my kitchen

This has been a difficult summer. I work year-round — my library is a public one as well as a school one — but summer still always seems like an off-season, a time when you do other projects, when the days last so long that it seems like you have a whole other day in which to do things. But that wasn’t the case for me this summer. Most days it was all I could do to drag myself out of bed, all I could do to get through the day, even with an upped caffeine intake. And then, when I came home, all I ever wanted to do was go to sleep. It was not uncommon for me to come home from work, collapse on the sofa for two hours or more, get up for a bit, and then go back to bed. Some afternoons I’d collapse on the sofa and not wake until two or three in the morning. This was not fun.

I tried any number of fixes — changes in diet, vitamin supplements, more exercise, less exercise — to no avail. In the end, the culprit was not the lack of a drug but too much of one, and once we cut that dose in half, my problems disappared.

I was never much of a summer of a summer person, and I used to welcome the coming of fall, at least until fall started to be the season I got depressed. This year, though, I’ve been happier about fall than I have in over a decade. This is the best time of year here, in many ways: it isn’t too hot, as it sometimes is in the middle of summer. It’s not yet dark out when I get out of work. And, at long last, the Farmers Market in Cody is brimming with produce. At this altitude, produce doesn’t start to show up for real until July, and so when I see people talking about their CSA boxes in May, and watching them eating the fruits of their labor all summer, I get a bit sad. This year it snowed in May and June.

But now there are tomatoes and peppers and greens and beets and onions and corn and green beans and sugar snap peas and cucumbers, and it’s all I can do every Thursday not to buy everything in sight.

Practically everyone I know seems to be playing Farm Town these days. I haven’t ever even really looked at the game, since my general feeling about games on the internet is “dear God, I spend enough time there already” — I mean, I love it, but there are offline things that I love as well, things I sometimes wish I did more of.

I don’t really know what the game involves, although people seem to be constantly on a quest to find someone to harvest for them. It’s been amusing me lately, because while they’ve all been looking for virtual farm workers, I’ve been, with my new-found energy, putting up food and feeding my friends’ menagerie (I even made a little video about it). I would never confuse either of these activities with actual farming, but there’s a great satisfaction to seeing that line of jars on my shelf, and looking forward to opening them many months from now, and thinking about sunlight in darkness.

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