Reflections On A Happy Workamper

I love my Job. If I didn’t, I’d pack up and move on. That’s one of the great things about this lifestyle.

You never want to burn your bridges when it comes to workamping, unless that’s your job. You do want develop a good list of references and be sure to leave on good terms when you go. But most importantly, you need to enjoy what you do. While you can find good paying Workamping jobs, they are rare, and will doubtfully pay enough to make up for any BS if you don’t like what you’re doing.

Upcycled Barnwood Mirror Made by Workamping Jim

That’s why I love workamping here at Vickers Ranch. Sure, gettin’ paid is a good thing. But even better is working with wonderful people who appreciate what we do. The location can’t be beat, and there are lots of perks. But the best part about this job is the diversity of tasks I undertake on a daily basis.

Come hay season, I know I’ll be working the fields every day, probably for a few weeks straight – because days off are for when the haying is done. But in past seasons here I have built decks and made road signs. This year I’ve had another chance to get creative, and work with power tools.

Upcycled Barnwood Mirror Made by Workamping Jim

I’ve always enjoyed woodworking. So I got excited when asked to build some mirror frames. It sure beats clearing brush and painting cabins! The fun part was scavenging for wood on the upper ranch. I made many of these upcycled frames out of wood from old stack fences they once used to gather hay before the baling days.  Others I made from painted slats out of a pile of old wood that barely resembled what might once have been an old miners cabin. An old dead Aspen tree provided timber for another, which would probably would have been much safer to make had I used a band saw.

Had I known “making a few mirrors” meant a summer-long project of finding old wood and making more than 20 frames for heavy 24″ x 30″ mirror glass 1/4″ thick, I may not have been so excited. But any job is easier – and more enjoyable – when you have the right tools. And with a fully equipped wood shop, finishing nail gun, and nearly 1500 acres of old homestead land to go search for cool materials, I am lovin’ what I’m doin’ this summer.

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7 Responses to “Reflections On A Happy Workamper”

  1. Loving and Job in the same sentence—seldom heard, but often dreamed. Well done and fun times for you guys!

  2. You are living the life TEN-FOLD!!! My husband would be in heaven to be diving into the woodshop and what a landscape to choose your medium! Nice job on the frames! ~cozygirl

  3. Eric Auckerman August 3, 2012 at 11:55 am Reply

    Carpenter diem!
    You go Jim, and you go pull out those wood slivers out too. What a kick, to think with your hands – what could be more rewarding I ask? I recently bought a semi-custom guitar from a shop in Austin, TX, these are expensive guitars but they are worth every sweet dollar.

    All told, things that are well crafted by human hands should come with a price because that’s what it costs to get someone to commit their lives to building something that will provide an income for themselves and possibly a family (and maybe ex-wives if your partner picker enjoys mulligans, another story I suppose?).
    Bottom line: craftsmanship – or is that “craftspersonship Rene? – tends to have a soul and a deeper value than production items.

    Maybe look at this way, lots of money, little money, but doing work that fulfills and being married to someone who fulfills and or having friends and good times that fulfill, what could be better? Now that’s wealth.

    I’ll say it again Jimbo – Carpenter Diem!

    Enrico strikes but with a rubber mallet, not a framing hammer…

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