Thursday, June 02, 2011

Cicadas, Mary Ellen's Birthday, and Biting Flies

When we step out of the kitchen into the garage, the roar of the cicadas fill our ears. It took Gerald a couple of days to figure out what he was hearing because he thought surely something mechanical was happening beyond the woods that borders our west field. After sleeping 13 years, those creatures have a need to make noise.

Sounds of farm machinery also fill the air in our region as farmers finally are able to get into their fields again. Our son-in-law Brian has been working day and night trying to complete his crop planting. He had our farm done before it began raining again, and now he is trying to get his own fields and other leased land planted. I met him at their camper and the machine shed last night at l0 where he finally brought his tractor to stop for the day. Delivering him to his parked truck on his acreage, I worried about his having to make the long trip yet to their home in the middle of the state.

Today is a special day because it is our youngest child Mary Ellen’s birthday. So maybe Brian was able to wish her a happy birthday in person before he comes back down. I already knew he was going home and would be back today because Sam was excited he’d gotten a text from Brianna that she was coming down. Mary Ellen had tickets for them to go to the softball World Series which would have been an exciting start to the summer; but since Georgia lost, that trip was called off to everyone’s disappointment.

Sam is already feeling bored with unplanned summer freedom, and his mother Katherine and I had a conversation with him about that at their house. I’d just heard the technician at the doctor’s office complain her son (same age as Sam) was driving her nuts already wanting to invite a buddy every night to break the boredom. I just laughed with her, but Sam got my usual response to my own kids when they complained about things being boring: There’s not boring places but boring people. So get busy and become interesting. Of course, Katherine remembered my other solution in boredom complaints: Here’s some work for you to do. Maybe Brian will find some work for Trent and Bri and Sam to do today.

Yesterday before I took off to town to get an INR test and to visit Katherine and then do my monthly senior citizen discount shopping , Gerald had me take him to Brian’s leased land over near Harrisburg in order to haul back empty anhydrous tanks to be refilled in Marion. Gerald guaranteed I’d see a place I’d never seen before.

There was a brief ride on Old Route 13, and that felt familiar and pleasurable like seeing an old friend. Then we turned onto the country road and went a long way north on the constantly curving road until that road ended with a long closed broken down bridge. There we turned right onto a rough narrower road—one of those tree-lined roads where the limbs make a roof above you. I enjoyed that road and those woods before we bounced into the rough fields where the truck with the anhydrous tanks was awaiting us.

I had to get out of the pickup and go to the other side to drive it home, and Gerald had to go to Brian’s truck. That allowed us to experience the buffalo flies (not sure of that bug identity) that have been swarming there every time Brian gets out of a vehicle. I’d never seen the pesky little buggers before, but I made it to the other side of the pickup with out a bite. Oddly I did not hear any cicadas in those woods surrounding those fields. I wondered why.

Temperatures are in the 90s; with Memorial Day behind us, people here are calling this summertime. Summertime and the living is easy—unless you are farming and then it is sometimes very hard. Lazy unplanned days are sometimes difficult for our over-scheduled kids to adjust to. They have to catch on that they made need to choose between being busy or bored. And they will.

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