Fire ants, fleas, and pick-up trucks

Just returned from the Land of PAM, where we had many, many adventures . . . and a few misadventures. Let's see, where shall I begin? Should I start with the weak-to-nonexistent signal on my iPhone at my parents' farm? Or their temperamental satellite-based Internet connection that only works when it wants to? I have to laugh now, but it wasn't so funny at the time when:
  • I had to use my Dad's cell phone for a job interview (since mine wouldn't work) . . . and I had to go outside for the interview (for some privacy) . . . and while I was walking around in the yard, I totally forgot about fire ants . . . and I stepped on a nest during the middle of answering a question . . . and got stung. But the interviewer (who was in a comfy air-conditioned office out in San Francisco) never knew, since I was able to restrain myself from screaming bloody murder in her ear.
  • One of the companies I interviewed with asked me to complete an online profile prior to the interview, but Mom and Dad's internet connection wasn't working, so I had to drive into town and find a connection. Ended up at the county public library, where I hadn't been since, like, 1979.
  • I had a phone interview one afternoon, so I drove into town to use my iPhone. But it was too hot to sit in my car. So I went into a restaurant and asked the manager if I could sit in the empty section where they usually have group events. He generously complied, but then I missed the interview because the call went straight to voice mail for some unknown reason. Thank you, AT&T. I may well have missed out of a job just because I happened to be in the so-called 2% of the continental United States where you do NOT have coverage.
  • Later, another company I was interviewing with asked me to email them some information. Again, the internet connection on the farm was down, so at 10PM I drove into town and sat out in the McDonald's parking lot so I could 'jack their wireless. Thank you, McDonald's. I promise not to dis you so much anymore. In fact, I've taken a liking to your sweet tea, and will probably frequent you more often.
  • On our last day on the farm, S & I walked over to Uncle David's house (the vacant house on my parents' land) just to have a look around. Suddenly, we looked down and noticed that our bare legs (we were both wearing cropped pants) were covered with little black creepy-crawly-jumpy things. We raked them off, ran out of the house, and raked them off again. I didn't think much about it after that, but when I woke up the next morning and looked down at my thighs, it was like I had come down with the pox. I counted over 200 (or, more accurately, I lost count at 200) flea bites on my thighs. Thank goodness for Campho-Phenique.
Despite these, um, adversities, we actually had a great time. It was nice to "unplug" for a while - and even nicer to spend time with my parents. Usually when I visit, it all happens so fast: I fly in, I fly out. But this time, we actually got to spend some quality time together. Although it was really too hot to do much outside, we got up early one morning and "processed" chickens. It's kind of gross, and you have to put your head in that special place, but at least now I know what to do if I ever have to process my own chickens. (I would much rather buy them already processed, from a local farmer. Of course.)

I'm not really sure that I could be a full-time country girl. But I do like having at least a part-time connection to the land. I wouldn't mind having a nice old pick-up truck, either - if it were like the one in the photo above.

Still, I do like having a reliable internet connection. And a full set of bars on my iPhone. At all times and hours of the day.

I know that the question on everyone's mind is: Did you get a job? Well, the answer is: Not Yet. I won't know anything for a while, probably not until the end of next week. I'm not really worried about it, though, because I have complete faith that whatever is meant to be will be. We'll end up where we're supposed to end up. No sense worrying about it!

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