The other night I did that thing that Facebook lets you do with your Profile — I downloaded the whole freakin’ thing into a Zip folder. The jumble of files included photos, status updates, miscellaneous postings and even FarmVille posts.
I’ve done this download before but in the past, I have never looked at what was inside the file. This time I did.
I unzipped the folder and there appeared upon my computer nearly three years of a Facebook life. (Or “half-life” perhaps is the better description!)
Anywho…life is what happens inbetween all the plans and boring stuff, so here was a snapshot of some of my plans, some of my boring stuff and a bit of my life somewhere inbetween the lines.
Apparently, a great deal of my plans for the last three years revolved around crop rotations, tree plantings and animal husbandry. The seasons were marked in my virtual farm world by snowballs in Winter, maple trees in Autumn, flower carts in Spring and beach houses and lighthouses in Summer.
And in the midst of the seasons, I harvested of all kinds of various crops that could never possibly all grow on the same farm in real life; I raised animals in sometimes crowded conditions that results in pigs cohabitating with baby elephants and reindeer; and I displayed festive decorations for every dadgum holiday of each year.
There is even a place to store all the decorations so that they can be recycled for decades to come.
Neighboring Farmers have come and gone, some abandoning their farms and leaving behind unsightly untilled soil and/or dead crops. Other Farmers apparently packed everything up, closed the whole thing down and headed off to Greener Pastures (or to another game).
And many neighbors are still making a go of it, selling and trading crops and occasionally stopping by for a polite visit.
I’ve never worked on a farm in real life (unless going to a farm one time and chopping down a Christmas tree counts), so in some ways, I can KINDA say that virtual farming has been an educational experience. And yet … I kind of doubt that I will ever see a crimson-colored sheep with flashing gold stars in any real-life animal pen.
One of the cool things about a virtual farm is that the farmer never has to clean anything up (unless crops die…but there is even a kind of creepy Monsanto-like remedy for that). You never have to muck out the barn or shovel cow pies onto a compost heep; you never even have to rake up leaves.
So I scrolled through all these amazing unzipped farm activities, a bit alarmed at how many chicken eggs I’ve given as gifts, but also rather fascinated by the stuff that went on inbetween the farming.
Just like the seasons, an individual life has a way of subtly changing over the years and it’s interesting (and somewhat startling as well) to look back and remember the real-life inbetween stuff.
Since I started farming, I moved into a different living space, acquired two extra cats (or rather, they acquired me), jumped off the institutionalized religious bandwagon of ENDLESS volunteering, walked a bunch of dogs, travelled to Texas, went to the laundromat at least 125 times, walked approximately 500 miles, spent $1,100 on gas (ballpark), started a blog and posted 100s of cat photos.
Oh…and my political views changed just a tad also….
And it was interesting, as I farmed — harvested crops, threw snowballs, gifted beach toys, animal feed and Valentines — to notice who came along for the inbetween ride and who … well … didn’t….
And so it goes.
As on the farm, so in life. Or something like that.
Time passes so quickly. Stuff is happening right now that we don’t fully understand or are even aware of. So sometimes it is worthwhile to unzip the old files to see where we were so that we can see where we are.
©August 2011 by Phyllis J. Hanniver