My step father's birthday was a few days ago. Dad was a pretty decent mechanic who would have found this "pickup" a bit over the top, even as he would have studied how it was done. This rig was about 36" tall with the engine blocking all of the front view. I am assuming it was not driven on the street!
Miriam and I had slept in our teardrop trailer, but I got up earlier than her and had gone into our daughters house to check email and news.
It was church day and everyone was getting a bit extra sleep. That was OK.
When I answered the door I was greeted by a handsome Navajo native american. Daughter's land is on a reservation, but not Navajo.
“Is Cliff up?” Cliff is my son-in-law, and no, he wasn't up.
“I had to put an old horse down last night and I need borrow Cliff's backhoe to dig a grave.”
I woke Cliff. It was raining and was not going to be a pleasant day to do what had to be done.
The trailer for the backhoe was there at the house, but the backhoe itself had been leant to another native friend. Cliff put on his work clothes, skipped church, and spent the day helping a man in distress.
We take church day pretty seriously. We avoid any extra work. We try to make it a day to stop and think and relax a bit, but it also a day to help others.
Christians, for the most part are not very useful to the rest of the world, sometimes we get in people's way (not to mention getting into their face).
Cliff has made good strong friendships of many of his native neighbors. I am impressed.
This weekend we planted tomatoes and weeded strawberries.
The planting was the easy part. Prepping the dirt and getting the plants into the ground went well. But it was 28 or 29 degrees the night before with no promise that this is the end of frosts for the season. So, we put covers on all the plants, 55 in all.
For decades we have been using waxed paper “hot caps” for the purpose, but a few years ago some one invented a gizmo called “walls of water.”
It is a series of tubes that are filled with water, that modify the temp inside the structure. When they first came out I was not impressed, being sure it was an inventors gizmo and maybe not a gardeners.
But there are all sorts of studies to show that it works an works pretty well. So that is what we did. The problem is that it takes about 5 minutes to set each one in place and fill those tubes with water. At least it takes that long for us to do it!
But the job was done and now there are two long rows of tomatoes, along with a few pepper plants, growing ready for warm weather.
A couple days later I helped the nearby daughter dig the dandelions out of her strawberry beds. The two plants grow well together, that is the Dandelions grow with abandon, and eventually crowd out the strawberries.
But we dug out a big pile of weeds, replanted some of the berries and got it watered, ready for another season of good taste.
This blog began as a spot to vent about my life with Miriam and her time with Alzheimer's disease.
She was diagnosed in '99 and her decline has been quite slow. In fact some of our best years of our long marriage have been these recent years.
Alzherimer's, at least her version is a disease of waiting. One shoe drops and it can be a very long time before the other one drops.
So life goes on.
At the beginning of this blog I told the story of our courtship and marriage, about out family and our personal journey with this disease. The part that scares the most is the anticipation as the disease slowly progresses.
So, I will touch on that subject from time to time, but the entries will tend toward comments on life. I'll leave politics and religion for others to worry about, not that I don't have strong opinions!
I have my hands full just looking after my wonderful Miriam.
We met when we were 6, began dating at 15 and have been together since. We will have our 56th anniversary this June.
We have four wonderful daughters. Smart, independent, awesome. They have given us 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. None of them are little any more. The oldest is 28 and married, the youngest is 14.
Until this last fall we lived in a hosue I designed and built in the '70's and it is pretty weird and wild, but very comfortable. Last summer the girls came to the conclusion that I really did need help dealing with Miriam. Now we live on a couple acres with daughter 1.
Life has been good. There is not much I would do different even if I could. We are rich beyond belief but chronically short of cash!
And, unless stated otherwise all the photographs are mine.