The last half of Spring and the first half of Summer



I’ve let too much time pass since I last wrote with so many things that have gone under the bridge without a note attached. Irretrievable slices of life, choice entries tossed in the garbage and hauled away on trash day. 

I’ll just have to pick up where I left off.  Let’s see, where was I?  Oh yeah, life!

 After spring rains flooded the rivers and lakes, the clouds parted and summer dropped in like a sweaty boot tossed from the top bunk. The rains kept most of us out of our gardens to plant so we have a lot of late gardens that came in struggling against the heat.

The heat and humidity has been so oppressive that it feels like slavery while working outside then house arrest once inside. Not much gets done if you don’t get out early so often not much gets done.

With the heat came a six long weeks of drought and the grass dried to a soft brown crunch. Then one morning it rained one and a half inches and the following day everything began greening up. A week later some more rain and “The next thing ya know ole Jed’s a millionaire” and I got a lawn way over due for attention. I went out to roll up the hose to get it out of the way for cutting but the grass clung tight to it as nature was already reclaim her territory. If all mankind sat down for a short length we would be back to Eden in no time.

With the two minutes of spring we did have we were able to make our yearly pilgrimage to the blueberry farm up in Dora for our supply of three gallons of berries. But with the grandkids living here for the time being, they eat and poop them out so fast I’m thinking eight or nine gallons would have been a better cache.

We get out early to pick blueberries to beat the fast rising mercury. We grab our buckets, spray down for chiggers then wander among rows and rows of thick six-foot tall bushes picking one handful for the mouth for every two that go in the bucket. We each have a one gallon bucket which can take nearly an hour and a half to fill if you take the time to find the plump berries. Conversations bounce back and forth across the rows with other pickers and you become fast friends with these disembodied voices maybe only glimpsing a hand or an eyeball. Every now and then I like to yell, “Snake” as a Public Service Announcement.

BTW: This is the same blueberry farm that Daniel Woodrell mentions in his book, Winter’s Bone.

The 10 widows remarried a rooster our neighbors gave us. Seems he was one of three they had and he was getting beat up in the chicken coop locker room and had to stand by and watch while the other roosters danced with all the hens. Now he has the whole place to himself and when he first arrived he was knocking over furniture trying to get to the hens. I named him Elvis because of his exploits and the fact that his comb lies over to one side but mostly because of the way he thrusts his hips.

I sometimes get so busy and wrapped tight in my thoughts with all I have to get done around here that I forget and have to stop in my tracks before I look up and remember where we live. My neighbor down the road turned seventy-seven this year and his kids took him on a zip line in Branson to celebrate. He got so excited about it that he came home and built his own right in his front yard. Another neighbor who is eighty-eight and was born and raised here will still stop and back up his pickup to check out a spotted fawn lying in the grass or will go silent in conversation to watch the squirrels playing in the trees. When he plants a garden he won’t plant two or three mounds of cantaloupe, he plants seventeen mounds! 88 years old! I am fortunate to have these living examples of life in my life. They help me remember important things and encourage me to walk a little further.

The world has gotten a bit scarier since I last wrote and a lot of speculation as to what could come of all this. But in a world where we all die in the end anyway, most things that take place in the middle shouldn’t be rattling us.

Plant some sunflowers in your garden and water them until they become bigger than you are, then look up into their sunny faces.

Go pick blueberries, hug your kids, ride a bike, watch the squirrels play or go stand by the waters edge and say a prayer; important things that can’t be taken away. It’s up to us to live our own lives and not let fear block our sunlight. Remember, this is your one big chance to live. You were born on purpose for such a time as this!

Take Care

Published in: on August 14, 2011 at 10:56 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Seems like very good advice..that last part. Summer has been an endurance test on our farm, and we’ve about made it through….I’m thinking some sort of celebration is in order!

  2. I’m always delighted when I read your “Letters.” Thanks for sitting down to write Gregg!

  3. Love it! Fill like I was right their picking with you. My garden was late this year too, only due to laziness.
    Love you Guys
    Love your posts!

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