I saw the lightning, and the crash of thunder that followed instantaneously knocked the four of us out of our chairs, there on the bucolic back porch. Yes, we had seen the thunderheads building over the coast range, but what the heck? The sky overhead was blue, the beer nicely chilled, and we were laughing about the day’s adventures. But wait a minute, I’ve leaped over last Thursday — a lot stuff to report.
Larry and I had come to the farm for a quick, 24-hour stay to meet the all-important techies who would install the TV, the sound system (Sonos), and the actual dish thing itself outside somewhere. We stopped in Corvallis to get a sample quart of paint for the barn (Shaker Red, a perfect barnish red-brown). I began by painting a couple of swatches while Larry hooked up the power wash equipment to finish the necessary clean-up. Me, I attacked the berry brambles attaching themselves to the siding, in an uneven contest with the thorns decorating every cane. Ugh. But work came to a halt when we noticed the first van rumbling up the driveway.
This was the inside audio-vis crew, and we were happy to quit actual farm work and supervise the installation. That’s a joke. Even without our help, the job took the rest of the day. The funny part came at the end, when Tech-Guy One attempted to teach me how to use the remote. Use your imagination.
But before that finale, the Dish Guy arrived to put the saucer thing up on the exterior siding. Seems Larry’s wonderful plan, by which we had a tube laid under the drive to carry the cable from a remote post on the orchard, would not work. No, the signal could not travel half so far. Yes, he was sure. He tried to accommodate our esthetic by positioning the disc here and there, but nowhere would do but the very near side of the garage. Quite the first thing to notice on arrival at our home. Simply charming. But do we want TV or not? (That might depend on whom you ask, but the answer was yes.)
Somewhere around then, Ryan called to say he was in the neighborhood. I believe you will be hearing a quite a bit about Ryan, our new Cow Guy, or so we hope. He has agreed to disc the 14 acres for Fish and Wildlife, and it appears he will work with us on development of a good grazing program. Sidebar: I was happy to learn that he runs cow-calf pairs. If I understood him correctly, he keeps the mom cows, breeds them, assists with calving, and when the youngsters are weaned, turn the entire herd out to pasture. Thus, we may enjoy the sight of actual calves? I do not know at what point calves are weaned, but we may find out. Ryan keeps his animals on grass for their entire life span, no feedlot for these fellows. Has a contract for grass-fed beef with New Seasons. That seems good, doesn’t it?
Back inside, we were trained on the use of the speakers. The Sonos was downloaded to our phones. The TV was in place, the picture quite wonderful, the options to watch all the football one could hope to enjoy in place. Wow. But the vans drove off, Larry and I had to hustle to make our reservation at Gathering Together for dinner so we never had the opportunity to try out the amazing shiny new toy. You think we’ll be able to work it when we come back?
Looks like we’ll have to work on that focus problem. But time has passed, and now we’re back at the beginning of this post, out on the porch, the lightning strike?
The family has assembled to install Amy (granddaughter) into her dorm at the U of O. She and her mom, Allison, flew into Portland to finish shopping for the necessities of dorm life on Tuesday. Today, Peter arrived, and we rode in convoy to Corvallis, on the way to Eugene. Larry is at Lake Chelan on a golf outing, and Jenny, who had come to assist with the undertaking, is on her way home to Seattle. Now you know where everyone is, and I’m going to tell you a little story about the day so far. Jen and I had driven to Starbucks to pick up coffee for all, and parked just down the street from the shop. Should we plug the meter? Nah, just going to be a minute. So we didn’t. Jenny teasing me for the bit of rules-following apostasy. Cute. Then she, with Allison and Amy, went off to Nordstrom for the final burst of shopping. Parked illegally (though they misunderstood the signage). Got towed. Fined. This bit of rules-breaking cost my darling Jenny $258, not including the taxi ride to the lot, which Allison picked up. How’s that for karma? Follow the rules, people!
There has been some conversation about whether I’ll be comfortable staying here alone overnight. I think so, but it won’t be put to the test this time, as Larry is due to arrive in an hour. I’d walked down the road to secure the gate before dark fell and was stunned to see that the great, vast field of blackberries has been obliterated from the side of the barn. Gone! The whole patch! This is huge. I saw fences I didn’t know existed. There’s a great tangle of some farm implement, I mean a 10-yard long twist of scrap metal. Amazing. A quick phone call to Larry and I learned that Brady had been here, offered to “get rid of the lot.” Larry thought he meant get rid of the mounds he’d sprayed earlier.
Good job, Brady!
Now I’m going to put this post to sleep and go out to find the Milky Way before the moon shows up this evening.