"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day at the Farm

TBW has been out and roaring about for two days in a row. That usually means a big storm is brewing but so far …nada. After everyone had left this morning I found myself in bed, back to the window, curled around a pillow, humming to block the noise of thrashing trees outside.  But let's go back to the beginning….or maybe somewhere just a smidgeon farther down the road…Let's say Friday afternoon. 
      Friday was lovely. I had been to town with Able and Kari to run a few errands and after they left for Tulsa, was mowing Maggie's Wood and the meadow so the thistles wouldn't get ahead of me before I could relocate the butcher knife.  Then came the debris in the eye incident I spoke of in my last post.  
        Between my eye, my feet and my shoulder (still not healed) I had welcomed pain as my companion for the week-end. Let it be said that Aleve and Ibuprofen are now my best friends. Sorry, everyone else. Danny used to quote a random line from a W. C. Fields movie that went something like, "Dems da conditions dat prevail". It was funnier when he said it.  I know there are prescription eye drops that have a little anesthetic in them so you aren't tempted to pluck your eye out and hurl it out the window, but you have to get through the 'sleep on it a night or two and see if it is only a scratch' part first. Anyway, on with the saga.

      Saturday dawned bright and windy and the kids and their kids showed up as the day went along. We made cookies, sat on the porch swing out of the wind and visited. It was our second big 'family work day' of the season. My goal was to get the boards measured, sawed, drilled and staked.  Several of us were not up to par, health wise, so I figured that would be worlds 'a plenty. The kids ran wild, helped now and then and were a joy, for the most part.  My Dad came over to join in the fun and observe the chaos. He too had managed to get something in his eye the day before. Hmmmm.
      We broke out the ukuleles Saturday morning during porch time and had short concerts all day long. My favorite moment was when I walked out of the garage and saw my Dad sitting on the patio laughing at the three oldest grandkids up on the porch, all strumming away on their ukes while Zane improvised a song about living on the porch at grandma's house. That's the sort of good times Ukes can inspire.  Comic relief.  It never fails.
      Work progressed nicely and the wind increased. They (I had nothing to do with the decision) decided to split up and have one group work on the boards and the other start putting down and packing the first under layer that would sit below the bricks in the center.  That resulted in almost everyone getting dust in their eyes so we were basically passing the eye drop bottle around the table at lunch. 
     Kari and I took B, M, and Z down to the Creek for a wander. We happened into a poison ivy plot on the way down to the water so we got to take mud baths like the Indians used to do to be sure we didn't get the 'itches'. We saw lots of tiny brown frogs, practiced skipping rocks, found some bivalve shells, splashed water on each other and they practiced their floating on their back skills. They all did great! It reminded me of teaching my own kids to float in that creek.  Nothing new under the sun.  As a bonus to getting to wade in the cool water of the creek, we were low enough to be out of the wind. After clamoring up the bank under the bridge, we all washed off with the hose and went in for a snack. I have no shots of the creek walk because I don't want to ruin another camera down there.


 All afternoon I worked up my courage and ventured out to help, again and again, but found myself driven back inside very soon, seeking refuge from the blasting wind under the guise of getting the littlest boys in out of the heat. I don't think I fooled anyone. I left supper up to my girls. (Sorry about not having a picture of Abbey here. She was on inside duty with the little guys most of the day.) For the first time here we had a legitimate kids table away from the adult table and it was a smashing success.  Even little Everett stayed over there and ate.  They ate what they wanted, told a few jokes, did a lot of laughing and WE had adult conversation. Ah.  That is the beauty of the kids table. 
   That is Rowan with Able and me, watching the guys work. 

     Everyone was too windblown and worn out to even think of going back out after supper and besides, Uncle Zach had stirred up some homemade ice cream. Here are all the grands watching it churn. Have these guys really never seen homemade ice cream before? Wow.  Abbey's crew and Great Grandpa  headed back home after supper and the rest of us hit the hay early.
     We ended up with the outside boards finished, all the paver layer down and packed and a row and a half of the big bricks set in sand and leveled.  This evening I planted some of the plants they gave me for Mother's Day on the garden berms that surround the center square.  I believe it will be so pretty and peaceful once it is completed. 
     Z came into my room bright and early this morning for our traditional early morning wander. We slip out the side door and have a cruise around the grounds and the wood while everyone else gets another hour of sleep. The wind was down and the morning was full of bird songs. Z can pick out the Cardinal's song now, sometimes, which is doubly sweet because they moved here from St. Louis and are big St. Louis Cardinal fans. 
      He helped me start up the drip watering system on the new little trees and then we came inside and cooked sausage and french toast for everyone else. The wind picked up to its normal 38-41 mph speed and stayed there for the rest of the day.  Soon everyone packed up and left and I came inside, had a cool drink and listened to the roaring wind outside. I couldn't face it, not even a little bit.  I kicked off my shoes, crawled up on the bed and curled into sleep. Escape, that was all it was….and maybe a little bit of exhaustion too. The wind batters me, the sound and the feel of it. It strains my emotions and my coping abilities  and makes me feel like dirt has been smashed into my face. I feel gritty all the time. 

      We need another day of work sometime but I don't know if any of us can face it. I will work on mulching the paths myself and get them finished and maybe we can do the bricks a bit at a time.  The tall fence may have to wait if the wind and the heat continue, although that's what the main point of this little exercise was, to build a wall against the raging wind so there would be a place of peace even on a windy day. Ha.
     Speaking of heat: the temps have been up in the 90s for a solid week and the new spring grass is dry and crunchy under our feet.  It looks and feels like August, except that the Iris are blooming beautifully. Feels like someone put the seasons puzzle together in a wonky way. People can say they don't believe in "climate change" but I can tell you, the climate has changed.  Call it what you will. And we're still having little earthquakes…or that's what the paper is saying.  I wouldn't know because when the wind is shaking the house like a tent it's difficult to feel little quake tremors. Good news there. I'm grasping at straws now.
      It is now ten thirty and the wind is still whipping around out there, kicking up its heels, but there is a bright, waxing gibbous moon floating overhead. This Wednesday, the fourteenth, is the next full moon and, if the wind will call it quits for a bit, the weather should be perfect for moon gazing.

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