Borger News-Herald

DARIS HOWARD

- By: Daris Howard

I have been working a lot in the sun this summer, building a shop. I don’t think I have been this brown since I was a teenager changing pipe, hauling hay, and doing other farm work. My sweet mother-inlaw has been concerned about me being in the sun so much, especially about my eyes. Because of that, for my birthday she sent me some dark glasses and a brief note.

“I’m sure the sun can’t be good for your eyes, so I bought these to help you while you’re working outside.”

Even though my eyes are very light-sensitive, I have never worn sunglasses. Since I started wearing glasses, I have always had the colorchang­ing lenses. They always work well at first, but eventually they quit fading.

The glasses my mother-in-law sent were nice ones. They go over my regular glasses and fit all the way to my face, cutting the light even on the sides. But I just wasn’t sure I could get used to them.

“Why don’t you try?” my wife said. “You know how much you have to squint in the sun. I think if you could get used to the sunglasses, they would really help.”

She was right, and I decided to try them. But for the first while, it didn’t go too well. I often forgot to put them on. When I remembered, and someone sent me a text, I had to take the sunglasses off to read it. I would put them on top of my head and forget they were there. There was reason after reason I would not end up wearing them for much of the day. But I felt better during the times I used them.

I decided I needed to make a concerted effort to use them. It was still intermitte­nt for me to remember them. However, I gradually became more and more used to them, rememberin­g to put them back on when I took them off. I was finally getting so I wore them most of the time while I was out in the sun.

Then came a day when things didn’t go as planned. I was transplant­ing raspberrie­s to some new property we purchased. I dug quite a few different varieties and put them in buckets of water. But just as I was about to go to put them in, some other issues came up. By the time I got those done, it was getting late in the afternoon.

I knew I had to get all the raspberrie­s in that day, or they would die. I wouldn’t have another chance for a few days, and they wouldn’t last that long in the buckets of water. I hurried to the new place, put on my sunglasses, and started to work.

I am breaking the garden out of a hayfield. Even though I worked the soil the best I could with a tiller, there is still a lot of grass and alfalfa I must dig through. Planting the raspberrie­s was taking a long time. I worked steadily, only pausing now and then for a well-deserved drink of water.

At one point, I was just about to take a much-needed break when I realized it was very dark. The sun had gone behind the clouds, so I couldn’t tell where it was in relation to the horizon. However, as dark as it was, I was sure it must be just about ready to go behind the western hills.

I looked over and saw all the buckets of raspberrie­s I still had to plant and decided against the break. I worked as fast as I could, not even taking time to drink water. My throat became parched, and the sweat rolled off me, but I was sure daylight was quickly slipping away.

Finally, the sweat was pouring down my face and into my eyes so much I couldn’t see. I had to pause and take my glasses off so I could wipe the sweat from my face. It was at that instant that I realized it was still relatively light. I looked at my watch, something I hadn’t considered doing before that moment. I had two hours more of daylight than I thought. I set the sunglasses aside and finished the raspberrie­s with a bit of daylight to spare. When I got home, my wife asked how it went using the sunglasses.

“Well, there’s one thing I’ll say for them,” I replied. “They sure made me work faster.”

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