Saturday morning Patt and I arose at an unexpected hour - 630 AM and ran through the chores. The still, cool morning greeted us with the promise of a wind-less warm 70 degree day. We ate a breakfast of free range eggs and bacon (of which I will post later) from a local farmer from which we purchased a pound at the exhorbitant price of $12.00.
After breakfast, we started working, in earnest, on our kitchen garden, relining the beds, shaped like a large celtic cross, with rocks, of which there is an abundance in west Arkansas. Once the shovel cut through the thick matte of bermuda grass and chick weed, and these weeds removed we found a deep loamy, dark, sweet smelling earth that was ready for planting. So, after planting some herbs we had already purchased, we decided to go into town and buy some more plants to fill out the beds we had prepared. We ended up buying 12 strawberry plants and 9 of collard greens. When we got them home, we watered them well and waited till Saturday evening to put them in the ground.
Meanwhile, we loaded our large garden cart (quite possibly the most useful tool on the farm) with compost from a pile we had started 3 years ago. The material had broken down into a light fluffy humus which we mixed into the beds to add drainage, depth, and some nutrition. On one of the trips from this bin to the kitchen garden I stopped short and stared into a distant mountain. Patt stopped short and looked in the same direction, "What are you looking at?" she asked.
"I am going to have to control myself," says I, "I just had a sudden surge of happiness there and I wouldn't want to become too flighty."
After getting the garden beds prepared we went to the local library where I checked out a DVD of "Police Squad", a tv series that aired in 1980. It is a lost gem of comedic genius.
Lt. Drebin offering the witness a smoke: Cigarette?
Witness to the crime looking at the open and offered pack: Yes I know.
Ronny and I watched a couple of episodes and laughed like we hadn't in a while, ate a bratwurst, or two and then I headed to the barn. I cleared the breeze way and rearranged so that we can set up Patt's laundry there. Not having room in our 400 sq ft home for a washer we decided to put the washer in the barn. This after we realized that Patt prefers to dry clothes in the sun on a line and in just 3 trips to the laudromat we spent enough in quarters to pay for half of a portable hot water heater. With Ronny's Dakota 4x4 I pulled the last of the clothes line posts out of the ground from in front of the house (something I had been wanting to do for 13 years now) and relocated them to their new spot in the old potato patch.
Then I cleaned the barn fridge so we can start our egg business, which is still in its infancy. Then Ronny and I did some work on his pickup, came up with a list of parts we need.
The first week of my new routine- the 45 minute commute to Little Rock to my new/old job at Arkansas Children's Hospital and then the glorious first weekend- started off a little weird. But by Saturday night, too worn out to take off my boots,
It had turned into the warm comfortable feeling...of home.