Summer Teen Job

I’m polishing a book to release next week! My 90s Boy Band Boyfriend ought to go live on 8/23. It’s been one of my most fun books to write. I mean, it’s about a 90s boy band star who miraculously survives a plane wreck, only to wake up in the present day at the home of his biggest fan, only to be snubbed by her daughter who thinks he’s faking his identity. What couldn’t be fun about that?

The main character is Oakley, a high school girl. She has a fabulous after-school job at a woodworking shop called Board & Brush. Frankly, I had to write this whole teen-job thing purely from imagination. Here’s my excuse for why.

My sisters and I were talking about it this weekend when we got together for my parents’ 50th anniversary. None of us ever worked in a restaurant. Why? Because there weren’t any! We lived a full twenty minutes from the nearest fast food place. Our whole paychecks would get eaten up in fuel there and back. We didn’t work anywhere official until we moved out and went to college.

Instead, we did farm work. My summer job designation was pipe mover. That’s irrigation sprinkler pipe, in case you don’t have context for the term. Hip-boots, gloves, heavy pipes, mud, fields, the occasional dead mouse, morning and night moving the pipe across the fields to make sure the grain or alfalfa would grow in that desert farmland. 

It was heavy work, but the mist coming off the beards of barley in the mornings was fragrant and fresh. Plus, I got to work with my sisters and my dad, and we spent a lot of hours singing as we worked. Okay, it was mostly TV show theme songs. We weren’t fancy.

In exchange for our labor, our parents paid for our school clothes and let us drive their car when we needed it. It worked out.

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