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My Agrarian Sunday of Pain This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Yesterday, I built a shed. Yes, I, Queen of Nerds, went outside and engaged in manual labor. Armed with nothing but my bare hands and the shade of my brother’s baseball cap, I set out on a mission- to prove to my family that I can handle just as much work as my brothers. The harsh winds of Colorado set our deadline at one day: just one day to complete the mission, or all our hard work would be in vain as soon as a gust of wind took out the unfinished walls.

The target was a tope shed, still fresh as a daisy and cool as a cucumber in her original packing. But that chick had an agenda of her own. Although she looked sweet and harmless, she packed quite a punch. Just one minute with that aluminum baby and your hands shredded to ribbons under the sharp sting of her cool, metal edges. After a few hours in the sun, she was too hot to handle. That was a bit of a problem for me since I was charged with fetching ammunition for the boy’s screwdrivers. Unable to handle screws with gloves on, I could never wear more than one glove at a time. But try as she might, nothing could penetrate the thick blanket of leather that is my soul. (Ahem. Did I say soul? I meant hand.)

Our mission took place deep in the heart of the Colorado desert- a little nook in a cactus called Montrose, where the sun beats down on you like a loan shark who wants his money back. The dirt from the ground flew around our ankles every time we took a step, eerily dancing to the sound of “Dust in the Wind” which was blaring out of our portable radio. Shade was a luxury we could not afford.

In the yard work business, if you have enough time to sit down during your break, then you’re doing it wrong.

My energy was evaporating like the water that I was supposed to be able to drink on break, but I pressed on, knowing that the mission could not be compromised. Slowly but surely, I saw a shed beginning to rise up from the ashes of my weekend. Glorious, it stood six feet tall; door-less, floor-less and already filled with spiders. I stood triumphant in its shade wet, dirty and exhausted, but filled with the feeling of accomplishment. When dad let me know that he couldn’t have built the shed without me, that made everything worth it, even though I knew he was just saying that to make me feel appreciated.

Special thanks to my father and brothers who do this kind of work all the time while I’m inside cleaning the house. <3



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