See those thorns the size of effing knitting needles? That’s a wild lemon tree, which grow all over our property. Good for caipirinhas at the end of a long day, not so good for those doing the yardwork.
It seems everything has thorns here. Last year started counting thorny and stinging plant varieties as a way to entertain my brain as I worked on clearing land. I lost count after fifteen.
The first year here my hands and arms were a mess of scratches. My husband eyed the damage dismayedly and asked why oh why wouldn’t I use the work gloves we bought? Because they were three sizes too big for my hands and I was convinced that working the scythe with them on was just going to give me new, uglier blisters in different places. And it’s really not practical to grab a branch, then take off your gloves to grab the scythe, then put them back on again to grab another branch. Those fields need to be cleared and if it means extra callouses and scratches for the time being, well that’s that, I argued.
This Christmas my landscaper mother came to the rescue and sent these gloves in a care package. THERE. Padded gloves made to fit my hands. I love them.
No more blisters, even fewer callouses. And visible proof to these hidebound Brazilians that, yes, in other parts of the world women do men’s work. Heck, we even just call it “work.”