Friday morning, and it’s a miracle! After two days of pain, after nearly tipping over on the simple act of walking, after a night spent on the heating pad, Larry arises and is cured. What the? How can this be? Only explanation, courtesy of Dr. Jane, is that he was suffering a partial dislocation of that pesky hip appliance. It must have popped back in during the night and, save some residual tenderness, he’s good to go.
Which is amazing, as we had both given up on the idea of getting those baby trees into the ground. Digging will be necessary. Lifting, hauling, and no sons or grandsons around to oblige. We will have to hire it done, and soon. But now? We saddle up the SUV and head south.
First we have to turn in the application for demolition at the County Permit Counter, open daily from 9 to 1, as we discovered on Wednesday when we tried to turn it in at 4. Oh that County of ours. Good sense of humor. We expect a long wait, but today seems to belong to us. We’re in and out in 15 minutes. Now we wait to see if they approve and we can proceed on the 20th.
Over to Shonnard’s where our trees are being held for us. We’ve devised a system for hauling water out to the farm in the form of two large trash cans lashed to the bed of the truck. We’re lucky in getting permission to use Shonnard’s water, and while Larry is overseeing the arrangements, I go to the counter to pay for the advised soil amendments.
“You’re going to be fine here,” the cashier, a middle-agish woman tells me. Her name tag proves her to be a Shonnard, maybe the wife of the owner? She has noted on her computer that our address places us in Portland. She assumes that we are moving to Corvallis. A reasonable guess.
I’m a little puzzled, but smile. “Well, thanks.”
“People your age, well, I mean, um, people like you . . .”
What is she getting at? “You mean old people?” I ask. Let’s get this over with.
“Yes.” She is relieved. “Old people get along very well here. You can get anywhere you need to without going out onto the highway. And the medical care is excellent, with the University, and the hospitals so near by. You’ll be fine.”
Apparently 75 is the new 90. I can’t wait to tell Larry this one. In the truck, I pull down the flap to look in the mirror and see what that woman saw. Was I looking particularly old this day, or is this my new reality? Don’t know.
Okay, the day somewhat bruised, we set about planting the trees. The augured holes are a good start, but not close to big enough. Larry digs through the thatch around the edges, and I work to shave the remaining clay into an appropriate shape for the trees. It’s a warm day, and the work is hard. Mindful of our promise to pace ourselves, I insist on taking water breaks.
Larry is patient, but after the third such interruption he sighs. “We might be able to get this job done today if we don’t keep stopping to ‘hydrate’ ourselves,” he notes.
We’re missing the Royal Anne cherry, which leaves us 8 trees to get into the ground. Here they are:
At 3:30, we have them watered in. Our idea of siphoning water from the cans has failed and we’ve had to use the old-tech bucket-brigade method. We’re pretty darned proud of ourselves. We need to pick up the chunks of turf around the trees and rake in the excess dirt, but decide to save that chore for another day. We park the truck in the barn and head for the highway. Take that, Mrs. Shonnard! I know, I know, pride goeth ahead of a fall, but we had ourselves a fine, lovely day.