Monday, July 19, 2010
Dispatch From Piqua
Arrived late Saturday night, July 3. Bad crash just north of Chattanooga had us sitting in traffic not moving on I-75 for 2 hours.
Reunion at Julie and Steve's in Athens, Ohio, July 4. All were there save for 2 nephews and a sister-in-law. Great food, great games, pretty good fellowship. And quite sad. Mom's absence, for me, was abundantly and palpably present. Or, rather, her presence was absent in the most fundamental way. Still working through that.
Lots of mowing and pruning of apple, cherry (I think) and peach trees. The tractor did everything I asked it to do. Eventually.
My 1/2-mile easement to the house is riddled with blackberry bushes with the most sweet candy-like berries.
Moon Pie dog was completely and totally in her element.
Jess came over Monday the 5th to help with the new chainsaw, a magnificent Stihl that's a treat to use. 4 killed. We ended up visiting for nearly 5 hours. A good visit. Al came over the following Wednesday. I was having a bad morning. He planned on working, but I was so tired we just talked for about an hour or so.
Thought about mom and dad nearly the whole time.
Met my neighbor who has farmed the property surrounding me on the west, north and east sides for 32 years, a Mr. Tom Hill. Seems like a good man, though far too young to have farmed for 32 years, unless, of course, he started when he was 10.
Lots of foraging for fuel for my (future) wood burning stove to survive the winter. Unprompted, Mr. Hill said he would consider it a favor to him if I were to keep his woods surrounding his tillable land free of fallen and dying trees. It's times like that, with Jess standing right there next to me, when faith in Jesus H. Christ gets in the way of my atheism. I've already apologized to him many times for calling His Father an Incompetent Asshole.
Got back down here yesterday, Sunday, around 6 in the evening. It felt, and feels, strange to me. Different. Almost... unfaithful, if you will.
All in all, the 2 weeks were filled with anxiety, excitement, fear, sadness, loss, and a moment or 2 of strict clarity. I plan on being up there permanently before Labor Day.