Thursday, July 21, 2011

Crops Are Maturing

Bright green corn plants have replaced the golden stubble of harvested wheat in the field beside our lane. The plants seem a foot taller each passing day. There are no soybeans here on this farm, but as I drive through the countryside, tall green soybeans blanket former empty brown fields with their thick bushiness as far as the eye can see. I enjoy watching the growth. The fat deer I saw tonight enjoyed feasting on that growth. With this heat, I would not want to be out in those fields right now, but evidently the deer, who was on the edge of the field, can handle the heat.

One of the scariest times I ever had was when someone left a farm gate open and our three-year-old son escaped the yard and had taken off down that machinery road beside a field of corn in this kind of weather, Everyone on the farm started yelling for him and running down that road praying he stayed on the road and did not go into the field. Fortunately, he did and was having a wonderful time with his freedom when we found him. A little boy lost in that that maze of corn would likely have passed out for want of oxygen before dark came.

Gerald is feeling better and had his first physical therapy appointment today for his hurt shoulder. We will likely never know what caused his temperature to spike over the weekend. Maybe allergic to the pain pill prescribed for the shoulder? Whatever, he has not missed a day spending several hours outside in this steaming heat. Of course, with air conditioned tractor cabs, working out there is nothing like the old days when he ate dust and stayed drenched with salty sweat running down his face. But time outside the tractor and hours working in his shop still give him a daily dose of high heat. He claims his shoulder and other aching joints and muscles hurt less with the sun beating down than they do when he is nodding off in his easy chair in the air conditioned house. Nevertheless, I am always grateful when he is in that chair or on his computer during the hottest times of the day.

After two unexpected surgeries over the weekend because of infection caused by the previous surgery, Erin was able to go home Tuesday morning. A port will allow the constant supply of meds for two weeks as she hobbles around on her crutches with the rolling tower with its bags of antibiotics following her. Vickie, her mother, stayed with her constantly at the hospital and is there with her now in Erin’s house. The surgeon has assured her that the second weekend surgery showed her knee was without remaining infection, and the cultures came back without any bacteria growth. So we are hopeful that all is well except for the pain and the time lost. It has been a very scary time.

In the meantime, on Monday afternoon, I did some of the Carbondale errands that I had meant to do last Friday. I was able to join Vickie and Gma Shirley in Erin’s hospital room for another brief visit. My mornings this week have been studying Vacation Bible School materials in preparation for next week at our village church.

Tara’s family is coming down for a softball tournament here this weekend, and Gerry and Geri Ann are coming back up from Georgia. Sometime my three teenage grandchildren who are going to help in VBS will be arriving also. Only our youngest grandchild is still young enough to attend VBS, but she can’t come this year because of a camp conflict.

One by one the older kids have switched from being a student to being a VBS helper, but they still want to come and I am glad. Although Sam helped last year, he will be unable to this year because he is going with his church youth group to Joplin, Missouri, to help there with the World Changers organization. He has new heavy duty work shoes and his mother made sure his shots are all up-to-date. The kids here at Woodsong are going to miss him terribly, but we know he will have a life-changing experience in Joplin.

Erin was expecting during her work-filled summer to have a bit of fun keeping in shape and spicing her evenings with slow pitch softball. Instead she is experiencing the tough irony of an athlete being knocked off her feet by a sports injury. She’d had surgery on both knees a couple of summers ago because of years of catching, but she did the physical therapy work afterwards to be able to play in Europe all last summer and be active all this year as she coached and gave lessons. As tough as she has been, she has always been empathetic to others, but I do not doubt that this misfortune will make her even more so. This too will be life-changing. More than crops are maturing around here this summer.

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