Lavender Fields Adventures

Hop on the bus, gus…

      Welcome to my first blog as the edgehillherbfarmgirl. (Also, welcome, right off the bat to my first digression as I make note that "her-blog" can also easily read as be "herb-log"; cute word play. Now back to story…)
     A guick Google search (sorry MSN!) confirmed my tenuous memory of Paul Simon’s Song called, 50 Ways to Leave your Lover, as having a lyric in it of "Hop on the bus, gus". This line pretty much sums up my day.
     I run a great risk, blogging this story in public, but the rebel in me says to tell it, and, since I don’t know any names, real or otherwise, how much trouble can I get into?
     During the lavender harvest season (Mid-April – Late-June) in Valley Center, California at The Lavender Fields, I "docent" for buses that contract to bring tour groups to the farm to see both the lavender and the farm workings and farm animals. This way the harvest doesn’t get bogged down taking someone away from either harvesting, distillation, weeding, watering, sales, production, etc…which all goes on while the buses are there and I’m walking them around giving them my fragrant, if sometimes, faulty spiel. Larger buses are divided, because 60 people cannot hear one person and microphones are out of the question.
     Today’s tour group was outstanding; a really involved bunch of folks, inspite of the sweltering heat, asking good questions and really enjoying the adventure and special nature of the tucked away fields in full bloom. So I was really surprised when the group was loaded on the bus – I gave them their parting shot (a little lavender gift from the owners), said "fare-thee-well" and left them only to discover that they were missing a tourist! 
     This wasn’t the first bus to claim to be missing somebody, but previously it was always an error, and the bus was soon on its way. Not this time. Today, indeed, the tour was missing a person. A person with a name and a seatmate, just not a name that I ever heard. So, consequently, I probably won’t get sued for telling this tale. 
     In 100 plus degree weather, all farm activity ceased while we all looked for the missing one (It was quite Biblical, the 99 were left to fend for themselves by, or on, the bus). Employees & owners took carts or on foot  looked on the road, looked on high, looked down low, still others looked in the portapotties, while I looked in the ravines and we all called out periodically "have you found it?" (we didn’t know if "it" was male or female…) Finally word came for me to go back to the bus and there I found out that "she" (by now I know more) had been found. 
"Great" I said. "But where is she?" I looked around the bus for someone who had not been there before.
"She’s coming back." The farm owner said, and under his breath he muttered, "She thought the bus had left without her so she hitched a ride to the main road on a fertilizer truck and called the tour company from the main road to say she’d been left behind. The company called the bus to say they left someone behind, only to get the truth, that the bus was waiting in the parking lot right where she was dropped off the whole time!"
"Oh my", was all I could respond, as I tried to imagine a woman hitching, when she could have gone back to our store and called. Bewildering. Must be the heat!
"The fertilizer truck is bringing her back". The owner said. "That is what we are waiting for now". 
"Well that was nice". I said. And I thought to myself, if I’d have been the fertilizer truck, "I’d have dropped her like a hot potato…"
And, as the fertilizer truck drove into the lavender fields farm parking lot towards the bus loaded with hot, starving people, waiting for the little lost lady to get on the bus, I was singing the Paul Simon song under my breath;
"Just slip out the back, jack
Make a new plan, stan
You dont need to be coy, roy
Just get yourself free
Hop on the bus, gus
You dont need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, lee
And get yourself free"
You can Google the song (once again, my apologies to MSN) if you want the complete lyrics for yourself…   

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