Dry heat is sucking the moisture from the land. Wind is pushing the dust relentlessly onward. Our veggies are struggling to survive each searing afternoon. Goats and chickens alike are panting in the shade and drinking gallons of water daily. Our children voluntarily remain indoors and seem pleased to have schoolwork to occupy their time. My Man is often on the verge of heatstroke as he expands our poultry facilities and prepares our fall garden. StrongHaven endures.
In the midst of our struggle for survival, there is time for relaxation. A book written by Joel Salatin has been on my “must-read” list for quite some time, but getting to the library proved challenging. When we finally did stop by the library I forgot to look. 😦 Thankfully, library books need returned.
Our next trip by the library occurred on a searing afternoon, and the library was not our destination. With three children and a husband waiting in the hot car, I knew this library trip had to be rapid.
Rushing through the library doors, I set down a large stack of children’s books and smile at the Library Lady. “Is there any chance you have Joel Salatin’s book here?”
She frowns, adjusts her glasses and scoots closer to the computer screen. She quickly realizes she doesn’t know how to search for a book and calls her co-worker over. Together they type S-A-L-A-T-I-N into the computer. The clock is ticking. I squirm.
“Well, I’m not really sure….” she says. “Let’s try a title search.” She looks up at me, obviously waiting for the title.
I am in a hurry. I am not thinking. I blurt out the title. “Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal.”
Time freezes. Formerly helpful faces are suddenly distrustful and suspicious. One Library Lady backs up slightly, distancing herself from the politically-incorrect entity that has appeared within the sacred confines of the air-conditioned walls.
The second Library Lady steels herself, pursing her lips with disapproval as she prepares to deal with the situation. “I don’t think we’d have a book like that,” she says.
I smile, trying to reassure them that they are safe in my presence. “It’s a book about farming,” I say helpfully.
Standing as far away as possible, she hits a few more keys. “We don’t have it.”
I thank her and turn to leave. She folds her arms, and the younger lady goes to stand by the telephone. Both of them watch me. I sigh. Drat. Now I have to find the book somewhere else.
In the hot car, My Man laughs. He wishes he had seen their faces. I smile as well, but I feel a little sad. I remember the distrust and fear and I wonder how neighbors reacted when SWAT teams showed up at the homes of heirloom pig farmers or raw-milk dairy farmers. Did they realize who the real bad guys were?