Here today in Wisconsin sunshine, above freezing and the dusting of snow we had this week is all gone (except for in deep shadows). Yesterday I was in the winter horse paddock with my high yellow boots on, adding fence. Scout, the lover of food, is determined to get onto pasture. I would love to oblige him, but the pasture is way too wet and would be quickly destroyed by enthused horse hooves.
We had amazing amounts of frost heave this year. Amazing, the ground rising a foot or even more in some trafficked areas. I’m not sure why certain spots heave so much. The ground under my horse trailer came up to nearly touch the underside of the trailer while the wheels stayed down. Two posts supporting our deck rose right through the deck, the others stayed in place. The horse winter area, insulated in many spots by horse manure, is a result of frost heave, thawing, and repeated precipitation … yucky.
So yesterday, in the muck, I became stuck. Really stuck. Thought I was going to take a dive or at least lose my boots – which would be very bad. You know the scene where Dorothy (Wizard of Oz) falls in the pig pen? I totally understand the horror of it. Sham (my old Arabian) came to the rescue and stood there patiently as I used him as a support. Each footfall became a question, “Will I be able to pick that foot up again including the boot?” Suction unreal. I got one foot onto solid ground, holding onto Sham, I still couldn’t get the other foot free. Totally crazy. No wonder Cola hesitates to come out of the run-in shed and then just leaps through to the feeding area.
So I let Sham, my anti-mud hero, have some time on pasture while I caught Scout and escorted him back into the, lets face it, awful muddy area. I’m hoping we’ll have several days of warm, ground drying weather soon. At least they have several good spots to be on and the run in shed is good, but they’re using it as a bathroom — hmm. Nothing to do now but hope for Mother Nature’s bounty.
Meanwhile the daffodils are blooming. Those are tough flowers. Come snow, sleet or frozen nights they still look cheery. I picked these for my husband’s birthday and then photo’d them this morning in a sunny window. Hope you are somewhere the ground isn’t clay infused and mucky.
We’re back to cold in Wisconsin – 7 degrees overnight and a high that barely skirts the 20s. Our brief springlike weather has blown over. But there is some melting, dripping, ice forming in the bright sunlight and that’s where the creatures are formed.
It’s county fair time, raspberry picking time, haying time and maybe time to rant.
A rant about volunteerism
Time, money, expertise – all the things so many people have so little of, but yet when it’s volunteered it gets devalued. Well maybe not the money, except think of it, free money gets spent in frivolous ways (ie. the big win, the birthday cash, the bonus go to things that are not really needed most of the time – the actions speak ‘this money isn’t as valuable/important as other earned money’).
Why is that? Why must there be an equal price to make something worthwhile? It makes no sense actually and it’s stupid. The value is in there, whether it’s paid for with the traditional exchange of cash or not. Someone has paid for it, has accumulated it, has done the time, done the gather.
This devaluing is why volunteers quit and why programs that are brilliant but free disappear.
So what to do? Because without volunteers/philanthropy so many community things fall apart – there just isn’t the money, time or expertise.
If to be valued there must be a cost, then recipients must pay some cost before they get any benefits. It doesn’t have to be money, but it does need to be of value to the recipients, some initial cost to get their attention and volunteers who are offering up their part need to get something they value too.
The big money people/corporations have this in place for themselves – favors, deductions, power, publicity and legacies. But the backbone of the volunteer workforce gets, pretty much, nothing for their efforts. Oh maybe new friendships, maybe good feelings, karma, charitable deductions for money or goods donated and a small amount for volunteer mileage and maybe a volunteer dinner that mostly you have to sit through. Or maybe just a lot of work that no one seems to appreciate and often doesn’t show up even though they were so enthused originally (of course they weren’t doing the work and so they didn’t have a clue). And then they never find out, never gain the offered knowledge … ah well, may they suffer later.
I despise people who say they will do something and then don’t without even an explanation. It’s so thoughtless, so rude, so hypocritical, such a lie and a bad example. I assume they make promises to themselves all the time and break them, because if you can’t keep your word to someone else it’s got to be even harder to keep it for yourself when no one else knows what you’ve agreed to.
And maybe, stupid, this is all about values set by an arbitrary price. Over my life I’ve been paid $0 to over $100/hour for the same expertise — arbitrary isn’t it. And the further away I came from the more of an expert I seemed to become, downright silly isn’t it. Just think how much my abilities and knowledge would be worth if I came from a big city instead of up-north rural Wisconsin (you think I’m joking, think again).
The results of this rant haven’t made being a volunteer more appealing to me, in fact I’m thinking of always putting a price on things, always creating hoops, never assuming that others have any idea of what’s being offered – usually they don’t know the difference between an off-the-cuff opinion and researched answers/experience. Grr, this trying to change the world stuff is irritating.