I remember many years ago, when I was dating my first husband, he painted a little soldier figure and christened him “3:30 Man”. “Is it 3:30 yet?” was the daily battle cry within the stockroom where we worked together and it was boldly painted on the side of this figure. “3:30 Man” sat on the desk that my ex shared with his then-supervisor. 3:30 p.m. was the magical time, the time when we could all go home and remember something of a life apart from the daily grind just to make ends meet.
Today his counterpart would be 3:30 Woman. But I doubt I would dress her in olive drab. 3:30 Woman is a lot more flamboyant. She’s wearing her Wellingtons in the mud and barnyard muck, raking old hay and animal waste into the compost pile after schlepping water and feed out to the barn. She’s standing in the kitchen with a bright pink apron over her clothes, measuring sugar and molasses to make her own brown sugar instead of the store-bought variety. She’s got a paintbrush in hand, dabs of paint on her hands, her arms, in her hair and is busy detailing that rocky beach gracing her office wall. She’s also pounding away furiously at the keyboard, not waiting for inspiration but writing anyway as Pearlina, Paz, Emmylou, Priscilla, Ozzy, Kirby, Whitney, Alice, Rosco and Ariel chirp and purr and chatter away in her lap, in the window, on the yoga mat. Eh, she needs a good dose of feline intervention to write. Without little paws climbing on the keyboard, the desk, begging in and out of the room and getting into jars of pens, markers and other office supplies, it would be too easy.
3:30 Woman, like 3:30 Man, is a defender of innocents but there the comparison ends.
Of course, 3:30 Woman is hailing 3:30 a.m. rather than p.m. At 3:30 p.m. she’s going into work to take pictures of cars and vans…and salivating over that Chevy High Country in a rich burgundy color, rather than going home. 3:30 a.m. is when life begins, a little blurry-eyed and incoherent, but it is a life worth living. Perhaps I should add a cuppa tea in 3:30 Woman’s hand though…a little mix of Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) and Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) to soothe the vocal chords when it’s time to sing or, perhaps, a bit of green tea (Camellia sinensis) to control the asthma. When 3:30 a.m. is a bit of a challenge and she’s still slumbering away when that alarm goes off, perhaps just a cup of plain, ol’ Salada tea after the usual morning yoga practice to give her a little more “pick-me-up”. Either way, that cuppa tea belongs in her hands as much as 3:30 Man holds his rifle in defense.
And, as another alarm goes off, this one to remind me to step away–if only for a while–from the literary world and attend to homesteading matters instead, I smile and wonder, “Is it 3:30 yet?” I’ve still got a few more chapters left.
May God bless you & keep you!