March 23 – For you folks in Chicago, sorry to hear about the snow, and hoping Spring will arrive there soon! What a winter this has been for most of the country, and I wonder how long it will take to get everything cleared away in Boston and the surrounding countryside. We are still enjoying the seventies with plenty of sunshine and a soft breeze. Perfect for working outside, and we do that as often as we can. Who wants to sit inside when we can even make up outside jobs if we need to!
Yesterday we carted a couple hundred bamboo canes back to the barn to stash in a corner until someone asks for some. We have asked many folks if they could use any for stakes in the garden, but have not had many takers. I guess since bamboo is supposed to grow in the tropics, people have never even seen any canes, let alone figure out what they can do with them.
Those canes are heavy! We tried to line them up according to height, but that didn’t work too well because they roll off the pile very easily. We dragged some behind us as we grasped the front of the pile tightly with both hands. Sometimes we just picked up the entire bunch we had sorted out and carried them back to the barn. By the time we had finished, I was trying to decide just how far we had carried those canes. Just about a full block! The hard part came when we reached the barn and had to add them to the stack we had already put there several days ago. Some of the canes were so tall, that they almost hit the rafters, and we had to push and shove and move as many as we could back against the side of the barn to make room for the others that would still need room to stay dry.
Interruption: I had to stop typing for a bit when Dale called to me, “Look out the window to the south pasture!” Up from the computer I jumped, thinking that something like a fox or coyote was nosing around. Instead, I was surprised to see the Reynolds’ tractor pushing the stacks of unwanted bamboo together into a large heap! We couldn’t tell which of the Reynolds – Grandfather Bob, his son Harvey, or his grandson Rob – was doing the job, so I quickly went out to thank whoever it was. Fortunately, the Chicago snow and cold weren’t here, because I went out without a jacket, hurrying to make sure I wouldn’t miss the driver. Not at all surprised, I found grandson Rob manuvering that huge John Deere machine as if it were a toy car!
Motioning to Rob to open the door on the tractor, I thanked him before asking who had told him to do the job. Smiling his typical shy smile, he said quietly, “You did!” Shocked, I asked, “Where did I do that?” “In church,” he answered! Well, I sure couldn’t remember that. “Don’t go till I get my camera,” I said, “because I want a picture of you and the tractor in our blog!”
When he had completed the job, I asked him how much we owed him. “Ahhh, nothing,” he said. “But I want to be here when you burn the pile!” When I told Dale that, he reminded me that our son David is not planning to miss that fun time either! When the canes burn, you can hear popping sounds that remind you of the Fourth of July, and the neighbors know what is happening. – CHRIS