THE UNEXPECTED THING  (Mother's Day weekend - 2012)  by Mary

We were on our way to the farm, and I told Larry I had this uneasy, restless feeling. For one thing, I wanted to be ten years younger to enjoy all one could experience on a farm. Recently, I had noticed some deaths of people in their early eighties. I figured if they died at 83, they must have been sick a while before, so if I am fortunate to live that long, I only have about ten good years left. At the most.  I reminded Larry that after turning 70 on December 1st, I had spent the first four months watching him convalesce from surgeries.  "Half of my 70th year has already passed," I complained. I was yearning for something new, and it needed to happen WAY before our August vacation. Time was a wasting.  

The farm was beautiful in all its shades of spring green. Todd and Nancy had done the mowing and trimming, and everything looked in tiptop shape as we did thistle patrol while meandering here and there checking everything out. My first surprise was the three gooseberry bushes. We hadn't protected the buds from birds with netting at the time we should have, and didn't expect a crop. Well, Todd and Nancy enjoyed seeing our response when we noticed the bushes were loaded with little green berries.  

Nancy and Erin planted their kitchen garden on Mother's Day, and Larry and Todd planted my gift from Todd - a beautiful peony bush. Todd said he remembered his grandmother (my mom) having them on the farm and thought I needed one for our farm, too.  

We all had plenty of jobs to do, as usual, but I had the pleasure of doing something I had never done before. I thinned the apples and plums growing on our dwarf trees! How exciting to see all that fruit! I didn't want to remove a single one, but knew it was necessary.        Then I watered all the orchards, berries, flowers, and more. I told Larry I watered everything under the sun.  
I felt our three grapevines were slow to grow, and was sad to see that the middle one looked dead, although it was coming up again from the roots. This also happened last year. How in the world was it going to produce someday if it started over every spring? Then came my next surprise. While trying to figure out how to prune and tie up the other grapevines, I noticed many tiny clusters of grapes! In my 70 years, I had never seen this, and it was just the new experience I needed! Of course, everyone got called over to see those baby grape clusters. It was a first for them, also.  

My favorite poem was written by Harry Kemp, "The poet of the dunes" from Province Lands Cape Cod.


Each day we die a little more;
Stale custom takes its toll:
It is the Unexpected Thing
That brings life to the soul.


The Unexpected Thing - baby clusters of grapes!

 The tiny apples needed thinning.  


Todd took this picture of Larry silhouetted against the late afternoon sky. He is transplanting a small black walnut tree the squirrels planted in our flower bed in the city. It is neat to pull up a little tree and find it growing out of a walnut.

This black walnut tree is planted in good dirt and protected.  

Todd & Nancy picked an average of two potato bugs off about 250 plants and dropped them in soapy water.

Todd with the Mantis preparing Nancy's kitchen garden.


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