The heat has been terrible, and we really have needed a rain. Gerald hauled 8 loads of water in a 200-gallon tank yesterday morning to water his garden and trees. Although he is still coughing terribly with his summer cold, he was up before five, going after the paper; and as soon as he ate breakfast, he was out gardening and gathering produce.
Because I caught his summer cold and am feeling even worse in the morning than I always do, I slept as near to 8 a.m. as I could. I excuse my late sleeping because I work late. (I call readingt/writing my work.) I keep trying to change my schedule to match Gerald’s a little more closely--but nature created me to wake up feeling terrible and to really get a second wind after supper when the house quiets, the phone stops ringing, meals are over for the day, etc.
Because of his cold and not feeling well, Gerald wanted to run to Cape Girardeau and do some errands. He wanted me to go along to search for the Big Barn area on the Mississippi River levee area. I had other plans for things I needed to do, but because I felt so bad from the summer cold, I figured that might be a profitable way to spend the day. If not profitable, at least enjoyable to chum with Gerald. We crawled into the pick-up and were off by mid-morning headed to the Mississippi Bottoms.
After we had visited with his brother Garry and nephew Kerry up by Running Lake on the Rendleman farm that Kerry leases, we went back to Route 3 and turned west at Ware towards the farm we leased so many years ago. Before we got there, however, we turned south at the old Roy Brimm place, where I used to pick up the daughter for our G.A. organization at Ware Church. The Brimm house is gone as are so many houses we used to know. I do not know who lives there now in the new house.
Gerald was of the opinion that what he thought was the Howard Davie dairy operation (a large long building still standing there from those old days) was the vicinity where the Big Barn School used to be. But he really was not sure. We realized we needed to find some older people to ask questions about where the school had been. (As we understand it, Big Barn was near Willard’s Landing.) Was there a big big barn there before the Big Barn School was built? The levee has changed the terrain from earlier eras. You certainly could not see the river from there. Too many trees and too many miles yet to the river.
We drove on south on the 1946 (or was it 1948) levee that Gerald remembered being built and making more water holes on the river side as dirt was scooped out to create the large levee replacing earlier inadequate ones. In the sloughs, I once had a glimpse of at least l0 lovely white cranes having a party at one water area.
Eventually we came to a multitude of tractors and equipment making hay from the sides of the levee. Some place in here further west on the river bank had once been the Hamburg Landing. In fact, in the 1960s, Gerald had hauled grain and sold to a local group who put corn on barges there before the group went bankrupt. With the heavy leaves on the trees, we never once saw the Mississippi River. Back on Route 146, we took the Old Cape Road toward the beutiful Cape bridge. That was a new itinerary for me and one Gerald had not driven for a long time.
We went on to Cape and Jackson. For lunch Gerald took us to a barbecue place a friend had recently introduced him to. We did our errands, filled the truck with cheaper Missouri gas, and were back on Route 146 in the Ware bottoms when we saw sprinkles of rain on the windshield. Unfortunately the sprinkles did not last long. Gerald laughed that probably not many people could brag about driving through rain.
Imagine our amazement when we got to our home territory and found it raining so hard, cars were pulling off. We had to go see the crops up at Wayside Farm, of course, and water was filling the ditches and even running over the highway a bit at one point. Probably three or four inches of rain had fallen in a very short time, and a couple of inches here at Woodsong.. The thick bright green corn and soybeans were reaching skyward as happy as we were at this blessing of water fot them to greedily drink from the earth. Coughing as he went up the stairs, Gerald went to bed early and slept well. A few hours later, I followed when I finished the novel I was reading.
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