We’ve spent most of March recovering from the flu. Influenza A, specifically. Can’t remember the last time I felt so rotten. And it came on so suddenly. There was a little cough, then a couple of hours later, Oh, I don’t feel so…KABOOM! The A-bomb hit. Down we went for a week with fever and chills. And after that another two weeks of trying to get back on our wobbly feet.
Feeling fit at last, we packed up the new coach and headed up to my folk’s house in Ohio for some Easter fun. Many swell events were planned – casino night, shopping trips, relatives coming in from Vermont, big 65th anniversary celebration. We were all ready for a big party week.
But when we arrived on Saturday we found Mom prostrate on the couch and Dad dealing with a nasty cough. Influenza A-Bomb. Ohhh Noooo!
So we let the folks rest and puttered around their driveway for a few days. Spent an afternoon power washing their back deck, and Dad was game enough for a couple of dinners out. Poor Mom never made it off the couch. By Tuesday the decision was made to call off the Vermont visitors and sadly we motored home early, our fridge still full of swanky hors-d’oeuvres we never got a chance to share.
Coco is finally becoming a good camper. We had a tough time with her last month on our trip to Florida because she was cutting her adult teeth and it made her a miserable booger for the whole two weeks. But now she’s older and all those big white teeth have come in – she’s getting closer to being a Nice Dog. She spent the time at my folk’s house happily poking around their back yard fending off the feral cats that have taken up residence under their deck, and napping in a pile of old potting soil instead of on the lush green grass.
Back at the farm there’s some big changes happening. We decided that it’s time the farm earned some income for us. Tim’s folks used to raise cattle and grow tobacco, but these are labor intensive ventures we don’t just want to commit to. Livestock are difficult to deal with – you’ve got to tend to them a couple times a day and constantly Run the Fences to patch up holes, which means that you can never take a vacation. Not our style. Especially with a brand new RV waiting in the driveway.
So we’ve leased about 60 acres to a Land Cropper. This is an outfit that leases empty fields to work the soil, sow crops, and reap the harvest. The deal is that we earn a portion of the profit for providing the land. To maximize efficiency the Cropper has been bulldozing around the margins for a couple of weeks now, eliminating scrub brushes and overhanging trees in order to maneuverer his giant equipment in the most direct path. He’s also installing drain pipes in a couple of swampy areas to improve the run-off.
One of those areas is where Tim’s grandfather moved the path of the creek from one side of the field to the other. That’s what they did 100 years ago. Get yer mule and plow and move that gol-durn creek bed. Well, that creek has been looking for its original path ever since, and it made a giant swamp in the middle of prime Bottom Land where many 4-wheelers, trucks, and tractors have been stuck in the mud up to the wheel wells. So it was fascinating to see the solution the Cropper came up with when we returned from Ohio today – twin drainage ditches dug deep and laid with pipe. Betcha that old creek finds a way around that too!