A Lunch Memoir

Lunch (6)

It’s a pretty busy time on the farm in spring.  Most days we gather together for meals, but occasionally lunch is taken outside to those who are occupied with work that can’t wait for later. 

When we eat outside this way it always makes me imagine a farmer from long ago.  In my image the farmer is plowing a long field behind his two horse team.  After spending hours in the field he still doesn’t leave, but breaks for lunch under a huge oak tree at the edge of the field.  He pulls out a handmade handkerchief and unwraps it.  Inside is a big fat piece of bread, a chunk of dried meat, and an apple.

Yesterday, our son John decided he’d take lunch to his papa, Joe.  Joe was working through lunch to get the water wheel transplanter set up for the afternoon planting.  Into an old metal lunch pail John packed some carrots, the first asparagus spears of the season, and a cookie.  He also took two sandwiches out on a tin plate—one for himself and one for his Papa.  They sat on the transplanter and ate their lunch.

Lunch (5)

Meanwhile, I had made more sandwiches and chopped up more carrots.  In a cloth napkin I folded up one of the sandwiches and some carrots.  I was headed to the tree house (actually, at this time it is a tree platform—it is, however, wonderful and functional just the same.)

When I got there I called up.  A basket was lowered from the tree house.   I placed the wrapped lunch in this basket.  Slowly the lunch made its way to the top.  Our daughter Niah, who had decided to work on her math in the tree house, was pleased to have had her lunch specially delivered.  I can’t imagine a better place to do math, can you?   As homeschoolers, we often take the opportunity to work on lessons surrounded by nature.

Lunch (1)

Lunch (4)Lunch (2)

In order to photograph Niah doing her math, I needed to climb the knotted rope.  Um.  Okay.  A rope ladder would be nice.  But according to my children, if there was a rope ladder, anybody could get up there.  (I can’t believe I didn’t think of that.)


Our other daughter Neve chose to eat her sandwich while working on her creative writing project.   This is a huge self-motivated project that has evolved into a series of four books she has written over the past year.  There is no need to ask this word lover to do her writing.  In fact, we actually have to stop her throughout the day in order for her to get her other chores and lessons completed!


And me?  I ended up eating my lunch walking around delivering other lunches and taking pictures.  And I loved every minute of it.

2 thoughts on “A Lunch Memoir

  1. That ‘lunch pail’ reminds me of the pail my busia would use to bring beer to her husband occasionally to eat with his lunch when he was working. The Polish really enjoyed their beer. The lid covered the beer en route and then used as a plate . I never knew my dziadzia, but knew he was a hard worker.

    • I love what you have shared. Makes me appreciate ever-more that food, drink, and hard work are both significant and beautiful parts of our lives–then, now, and always.

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