It’s been a month since our big hail storm and two months since my last blog. I almost titled this one “Too Busy to Blog”, which is basically true. But there is something captivating, heroic or at least interesting about recovering from difficulty, whereas just keeping on keeping on is boring. I suppose that is why almost all stories start out right away with some major problem cropping up in the first sentence, or why our systems go into full alert at a sliver or a bee sting and we ignore breathing, digesting and most other autonomic systems unless of course, something goes wrong with them. Well, our normal systems are up and running again. Neighbor Fred Esvelt dumped 30 yards of gravel on our driveway. Neighbor Jeff Herman came down with his tractor and smoothed it out. Neighbor Lora Lea Misterly replaced a lot of our tomatoes and then the tomatoes started to come back on their own. so now we have 25 tomato plants. Got to love those neighbors.
The grapes are finding their way again. Four new sets of leaves have come out since the June 3rd hail storm left ragged remnants of the old leaves. In some cases new canes started from a half dozen places where they had leaves left after their tips broke off. We got some “natural” thinning on the grape clusters and the rain and hail just about wiped out the normal scourge of leaf hoppers. So the vineyard is recovering.
This year’s cuttings are now all in bigger pots and they are happily nestled under the shade of the big elm tree. In a few more weeks I will set them out in full sun, but clustered together in trenches where their pots and roots can’t get too hot and dry out during the summer or too cold and freeze out during the winter. Two months ago I bought a 1998 Rav 4, an event posted on Facebook but not in this blog since there
was no June blog about May events. It’s been duly broken in with a couple of rock trips into the back country and one flat tire. It is now the go-to car for longer trips or just trips together since it has air conditioning. The 1969 VW bug has been put out to pasture, pretty much literally, but I have been helping it recover too from body rust and an old fender-bender. So what the heck has been keeping me so busy? Well, I updated and reprinted my five regular county road atlases, produced two custom emergency service truck books, redid the interactive farm map on this site and created a Google map of the 1858 – 1882 Walla-Walla to Colville Military Road with almost 100 pictures linked in. Throw in a few other custom custom maps and a 437-image annotated picture album of the Barreca Family from 1946 to 1957 and there has been no time to blog.
There has been time for a visit from my daughter April and grandson James Anthony Houston. She landed a job teaching science in Curlew, near where she grew up. She beat out her high school science teacher for the job. You’ve got to love that. Now she will live a little over an hour away from us, once she gets back from visiting the Houstons in Ohio and actually finds a place to live near Curlew. A couple other notes on recovery. The hail
storm flattened a nice crop of poppies Cheryl had planted in a 1/2 barrel out front. Now they have come back big-time. The new threat is that our cat, Gray-C, would like to set up a napping spot on/under them. But now Cheryl has installed some anti-cat-nap rocks there to protect an understory of later flowers. Also damaged by the storm was a sparrow’s nest in the vineyard. Recently I discovered that it had been rebuilt and had two chicks in it.
A more significant nest has been established in another row with a Cedar Wax Wing sitting on her eggs. I hope Gray-C does not find either one of those.