This March I will be participating in the month-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.
When I was a young teen, one of the few jobs we could legally be hired for was on a farm. So for several weeks each summer, my siblings and I would work on a detasseling crew. Our job was to walk rows of corn and pull off the tassels in all but the pollinating row so they could create hybrid seed corn. If you’ve never heard of this, you probably aren’t from the Midwest. Anyone who has done it can attest to the excruciating work conditions. I couldn’t wait to turn 16 so I could get hired for an air-conditioned job! The irony wasn’t lost on me that child labor laws meant to protect us, only allowed us to work some of the hardest (and hottest) jobs on the planet!