Click to Subscribe
End of Summer
Monday, September 6, 2021, Oakley, Utah
© 2021 James LaFond
Bob's ponderous tread on the floor above creaks and wakes me to the idea of coffee, which he makes on the stove in an old time coffee pot.
He used to be the strongest man a round, working three jobs for as many decades. He can still drive a fence post with one hand faster and further than I can with two. But with two artificial knees, an artificial hip, a fused back and a steel cage around his lumber and two rotator cuff surgeries—he's about shot.
He said the green beans were “done,” and bending to the planter beds is hard for him. We have canned about 40 quarts of green beans out of these two 4-by-16 foot beds and had a fresh meal of them once a week for the two weeks I've been here.
A large bowl of green beans are filled—half of them small and shriveled to feed the chickens, as I uproot the plants and toss them into another bed for drying and turning over. We will have the last of the crop for dinner soon. Green bean plants are not used to fertilize a green bean bed lest disease be invited. I think shallots will grow in these two beds next year. Onions, garlic and shallots did well this year.
He made me a cup of coffee that I drank while I washed the beans and dishes in the twin sinks. He drives to the hardware store as I proudly look at pictures The Brick Mouse sent me of him finishing the drainage culvert we started in July.
Bob buys a knew valve assembly for Arla's toilet. He uses me as a trap drier, wrench-holder and wingnut turner while he does the real work, his 260 pounds on the floor and wrapped around the toilet as I bend over the back. Hard water is the main problem. So vinegar is used on the center valve and we replace the side valve. Arla wants to pay us and we laugh. She declares that she's “tough” and won't be the target of charity and we laugh.
We leave with a loaf of homemade bread. She remarks that Bob was a good baseball player when she coached him, but “He had a temper, let me tell you.”
The apples, choke cherries, oregon grape and green beans suffered from summer frosts, the green beans replanted.
The root vegetables, elderberries and alpine currents thrived. We have canned 40 pints of jelly, jam and syrup.
Bob machine's the valves and other parts for Dallas's farm. So Dallas brings manure for Bob. Grass clippings and rotten apples are tossed into the manure pile, which Dallas turns with his tractor once a week.
The weeds, tree branches and rotten wood are thrown in the burn pile. On Christmas they will make a bonfire. In spring, those ashes will be mixed with the manure, the weed seeds killed by the fire.
Bob's all stoved up from replacing the valve and is icing his shoulder, which he re-tore last year right after his surgery saving a drunk girl's life after she flipped her car in front of his house one night and was trapped inside as it caught fire.
“She was a pretty little thing,” he said, “stoned out of her mind. The young cop—a nice fella—was about five feet tall and could reach her, so I pulled her out—heard it tear.”
Mushrooms again and one more go at the currents up in the Uintas and the elderberries, should finish the food details—other than bringing in the horseradish and the Rhubarb. Oh yes, the rose hips looked good this year. In another week I'll pick what the bear and elk don't eat.
The tomatoes in the greenhouse are still ripening at a dozen a day. We'll probably close that down October 1 as winter blows in. They made a couple dozen pints of chili sauce, these two weeks. They are mostly given away.
The grandchildren sold three dozen eggs from the front door yesterday while Deb and I bottled the current jelly.
Bob's icing his shoulder while I write. When he feels up to it we will turn over three planting beds and manure them, him using the fork and me the shovel.
He wants a bigger greenhouse in the spring.
The giant cotton woods out back are dying since the water has been rerouted over to Park City for the richy-rich subdivisions. It's the most dangerous tree in The Rockies to fell. It's $3,000 a tree to have them removed. If they die where they stand they could blow down and crush the chicken coop, and machine shop.
What to do?
That's next year's question.
Pulp Fiction Podcast Topics
the man cave
Highland Polo
when you're food
the lesser angels of our nature
masculine axis
dark, distant futures
logic of force
advent america
book of nightmares
search for an american spartacus
nc     Nov 30, 2021

Purge all Pedophiles at all Costs (PaPaaC)


Kill the Masters (KtM)
  Add a new comment below: