Wednesday, July 04, 2012

A Quiet Fourth of July

Our flag is flying as always on the lawn of Woodsong. Gerald has never enjoyed fireworks very much although occasionally we took our kids to see them. In recent years, however, I have been content to watch Marion’s distant fireworks from our deck, but the dry weather has made all fireworks forbidden in our area, so I will not do that tonight. The day seems unusually quiet with no neighborhood sounds of popping.

Erin had talked about coming over to fish this morning, but she has been so over-busy lately with recruiting trips, moving to a new place, painting her new bedroom, giving lessons, and keeping up with her job on campus that I hope the reason she did not come was that she slept in for a change.

Her house mate Toni had finished her graduate study and her job in this area, and moved to Colorado to a new job. So Erin was ready to move on when a friend in Carbondale needed a new house mate. With the help of friends, she had done most of the moving to this lovely duplex, which is closer to campus and has a swimming pool in the back yard.

One thing remained, however. A huge very weighty sectional sofa given to her by Toni’s parents a year ago. She and Toni had covered it with wine sheets stapled over the old-fashioned pattern, and I think Erin was somewhat sentimental about this first living room furniture because Randy and Lori (her local stand-in parents) had given it to her.

Erin asked her grandfather if he could move it on his pickup’s trailer. Fortunately, he had the lights working and license up-to-date, so he was pleased to help her. I tagged along yesterday because it had been too long since we’d had a visit, and I wanted to see both Erin and her new living quarters. Erin was waiting on the steps of the little house she had rented in Cambria, but Sadie was already in the new place. It was such a peaceful neighborhood with the sound of birds all around, I wondered why she was leaving, but then later I saw that the new neighborhood was also peaceful and full of bird sounds.

I also soon understood why she needed her grandpa to help her move the humongous sectional sofa. She and Gerald tugged and pulled and lifted and rearranged the three heavy-weight sections of this sofa, but the biggest piece just would not go through the narrow door. Since she, Toni, Randy, and Lori had moved it in, Erin knew it surely could come out.

Finally Gerald removed the door, and they got the largest piece through. It was not so difficult to get it through the wider 36 inch door at the new place, but Gerald still took that door off also to avoid scratching it. I had asked if the new house mate did not already have a sofa, and Erin said yes but the living room was large. And it was—quite large enough to easily hold her sectional in addition to the other woman’s couch and her piano and small pieces.

Erin had to go on to her work place, and we had more errands to do in Marion, so we hurried off. After lunch in town, we drove home hoping that the overcast sky meant we were going to finally get some rain at the farm. We’d had a shower Sunday evening (not even measurable on the rain gauge) when some just south of us got two inches, but our farm crops just to the north on the Pittsburg road got nothing. We were thrilled when the rain came yesterday afternoon and we got almost three-tenths of an inch, but then we felt disappointment when we learned that again the crops got not a drop. So we are still hoping for yet another chance this afternoon or evening before it is too late to help much.

Since the creek bed up on the Pittsburg road farm was still bone dry, Gerald went up this morning to continue his work clearing it. Kroger was open today and the senior citizen day was in progress, so that was my day’s duty. I appreciated that once again a group of volunteers from the local Church of God wearing green T shirts were stationed to help us oldsters at the counter. After efforts to buy most of a month’s supply of groceries, having someone help to empty the cart is welcome.

I also accepted an employee taking the groceries to my car, but after I saw the beads of sweat on his brow from all that parking lot work he’d already done, I really felt ashamed I’d let him. When I apologized and thanked him, he was so sweet and said with enthusiasm, “That’s what we are here for.” All the kindness made my dreaded monthly expedition more pleasant than it could have been. (Of course, I still have to pick up needed items between these major shopping trips.)

To celebrate the Fourth, I bought some ribs for lunch from the employee smoking them on the front patio of the store. I felt sorry for him too working outside in the heat, and I wondered if Leslie were doing the same down in Nashville as she has some Saturdays this spring. At home, I quickly baked us a potato in the microwave to go with the ribs while Gerald finished carrying in groceries after I’d stashed the perishables. Together with our very first tomatoes from Gerald’s garden and the wonderful fresh cherries I had purchased, I felt we had a good Fourth of July dinner. Now if it would just rain…

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