July 21 – When our son David, who lives in Shawnee, sent us an email to tell us that he would be coming out last Sunday to help us do some things that we had been able to do easily for so many years, I was more than glad that we would see him. If you knew me well though, you would know how hard that was for me to accept, but he has given us help before, and we really do appreciate his kindness and ability!
And it isn’t that he has lots of spare time, for he is always doing things for other people and for the church and school. When some of the kids in his Junior group tell me what a good teacher he is, I agree fully, for that is truly one of his gifts.
For those who have been reading our blog for the last several years, I guess you know me pretty well along that line. I really do appreciate those folks who do their best to help others, never expecting anything in return. They are the ones who make life easier for all of us.
Anyway, David sent an email telling us he would see us some time soon and help us with various needs. In the afternoon I was working around some of the orange trumpet vine that stretches up pretty high to the sky on a telephone pole, when I thought I heard a car drive into the driveway. Once I get involved in a job, I like to get it done, and I knew Dale was in the back, so David knew we were around. I hadn’t finished the job so David joined me as I broke off the various irises, and other stems. As David continued to do the same, he would ask me, “Keeping this? Are these any good? You don’t keep these rose bushes all entangled with the other stuff, do you?”
Finally he suggested that I look over the much smaller area around the main vine. “Well, since you don’t want any of the other stuff still standing, I think I’ll get the mower and mow off the whole area. OK?” Sure it was OK, and talk about a saving of time. Just about five minutes, and the bed was all cleaned up!
Next in line. Going to his car parked in the driveway, he brought out two white PVC pipes, along with a smaller connector that would keep them stuck together. We have had a problem with huge puddles of water staying around in the driveway whenever it rains. Since we have had so many storms and so much water lying around in the driveway, David brought with him what he would need to put in a drainage pipe from the side of the tree about 20 feet farther on where the tube would empty the extra water and send it running down the hill.
Talk about a real worker! With his big hoe, he dug a ditch, smoothing it out from time to time so he would have it just where he wanted it to be. Then came the trial. After putting the two pieces together, he asked me to stand at the end and help him carry the pipes and lay them in the prepared ditch. He brought over the hose, turned it on and the wet area soon filled up. At first it didn’t seem that the whole plan was working, as it didn’t look as if the water was entering the pipes. I must admit that I continued to pray that all would be well. We saw David go to the end of the pipe where the water flowed down the hill! “It must have passed the test,” he said. Then he started putting the saved sod and the gravel from the driveway back over the pipe.
“Where did you learn to do that?” I asked. His answer? “Well, I fixed one at our house once, and the results were pretty good.”
Not too long afterward, when I checked on the drain, I found that the unwanted water that started in the area was completely gone, and we shouldn’t have that problem again. [Update: after our rain last night, Dale says that the “drain pipe seems to have worked very well for there is no pond standing alongside the driveway today.”]
Now it was time to check out what needed to be done in our garden, much smaller than any year I can remember. From planting over 100 tomato plants in former years, this year we have about 25! We actually don’t need that many, but it has always been fun to share with others. First thing both David and I did was use our hoes to clear out the weeds in a couple of rows. While I continued to hoe out the weeds, David got the tiller out of the shed and started using his guidance skills. I couldn’t even make that thing move, let alone rush up and down the rows, then go back and do the same job.
Since I had taken a couple pics of David as he worked on other problems, I ran up to the house to get my camera. Unfortunately the tiller was back in the shed by the time I got back to the garden, and David didn’t even offer to let me take the photo. He just doesn’t like to be recognized for any good works. [Editor’s note: Real reason is that he was just too worn out by that point!]
Then later last week, Dale moved a few cages here and there, including some that he put around the smaller plants like the peppers. The reason I thought we should protect the peppers?
It’s because of something I have never seen the big peacock do before, but since it was really hot he tried to fit into an empty place on the edge of the garden where he could enjoy life to the fullest. I had never before seen a peacock make his own bed in the soft earth and move this way and that to make himself comfortable. After lying in a place where he could cover himself with soft dirt and move freely about all in the same place, he scooted here and there. When he decided to stay put, he was lying close to a couple pepper plants and one tomato. I decided I had better protect the garden rather than the one who was enjoying himself. (Then I found that when Dale went down to check on the garden this morning while I was working on a fence, he specifically fixed up a part of the area so the peacock could enjoy himself without ruining anything we want from the garden!)
One last word from David to his parents. “OK, I’d like a peanut butter sandwich now that it’s suppertime. Then we’ll have a game of Rummikub before it’s time to head for home. Lots of things to do after I get home and take off for my walk!”
We felt sad just as we do every time he drives that fifty miles back home. One last beep-beep as he turned back on the road. Then we had a real supper, just the two of us, and then talk over the happenings of the day and thank the Lord once again that he gave us a really neat son.
Oh, who won the Rummikub game? Who else but David! Fifty years ago when the kids were really young, we didn’t help them win or change the rules for them. When they won, we cheered them on. When they lost, it wasn’t a horrible thing for them, since they would soon have another chance to be the top dog! – CHRIS