On Walking and Melon Bras
My parents wrapped up their visit with us on July 5th and headed back to Texas. On July Fourth we were visited by some acquaintances from Texas whom we now consider fast friends. Our new friends, Texas transplants in Louisville, brought their adorable children out to see our farm. Their two year-old daughter was drawn to Geoff, as toddlers often are (I think it is his incredibly gorgeous eye lashes, they’re like crack to the pre-school set), and she convinced him to take her on a tour of the house, mainly by escaping and running upstairs. On the second floor we have several book shelves and our young visitor asked specifically to see, “books on walking.” I guess this is kind of like if my parents had asked to see “books on retirement,” or, “books on home-building.” Fortunately Geoff and I are big nerds and within arms reach he found a book titled, “100 Walks to Take Before You Die.” He also came up with a book about walking across the Serengeti and a book about a man’s quest to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Elsewhere in the house we have three books about walking pilgrimages and Bill Bryson’s, “A Walk in the Woods.” It is a good thing she did not ask for a book about baseball, because Geoff would have had to use a hand truck to bring them all downstairs.
We topped off our holiday with a party at the city pool hosted by some dear local friends. We watched the fireworks and then participated in Campbellsville’s yearly traffic jam. The next day my parents went back home and Geoff and I drove to Nashville to pick up interns, round two.
We have five interns ranging in age from soon to be high school senior to soon to be college sophomore. The three ladies and two gentlemen have done superb so far, in spite of the cistern running out of water in their bunk house, one of the bunk beds breaking (I predicted that one), and a rash of unexplainable turkey deaths. Don’t worry intern parents, the cistern is full and the beds are fixed. We still don’t know what is killing the turkeys but we suspect a bacterial infection, which, for reasons of sustainability, we will not treat with antibiotics. It is hard to watch the birds die, but we have to make sure that only the strongest, most resilient birds survive to pass on their genes to the next generation.
Cooking for seven has been a unique, but accomplishable challenge. So far we’ve dined on some italian favorites and GLR chicken and dumplins. The kids have shown a real interest in growing, harvesting, and cooking their own food and they have a broad food knowledge, so the past few days, while daunting in theory, have been enjoyable in practice.
One of the interns’ first jobs, besides filling their own cistern, was garden maintenance. We are growing various melons including a few varieties of cantaloupe and watermelon on a trellis. When the melons reach a large enough size they need a little extra support, as all melons do. So Geoff devised what I am calling the GLR Melon Bra. In reality they consist of scraps from Geoff’s old college t-shirts tied into little hammocks that support the weight of the growing melons. In practice they look like specially designed fruit bras. The fun never ends.
Tomorrow Lowe’s is delivering the mortar we will use to begin the construction of the walls of the Haiti dwelling. I foresee a hard day of labor in everyone’s future. Construction is fortunately the type of labor that leads to satisfaction because if you do your job correctly your work will have lasting permanence.
The busy summer continues here at GLR and I return to school in just over three weeks. I could use a little more time.
Good night, America.