Monday, March 26, 2012

More Sunshine Promised

It has been a rainy last couple of days.  I guess I should enjoy the rain-forced "relaxation days," but I am eager to move forward with the outdoor projects around here.  Still, the weatherman has promised us the return of sunny days this week, so all is good.
Maybe my shoes got a little muddy....

Last weekend Joe and I took Sunday afternoon off from our current efforts of building up roads (and continuing the seemingly never-ending "water diversion" efforts) to go see a performance of, "Everything I Need To Know, I learned in Kindergarten."  My son was one of the actors in this community theatre production.  I'd never before seen the play and was pleasantly surprised.  It was a cute play with an enthusiastic and talented cast. It was interesting to see my son play several roles, from a kindergarten kid to a harried businessman, to an old night auditor, to an 80 year old man with dementia, who happily lived in his own world where Christmas was anytime it struck his fancy.

However, the most surprising to me was the scene for one of the vignettes which opened with Stephen playing the saxophone.  Certainly, I knew my son played the saxophone, but it had been many years since I'd heard him play.  I thought he'd put it aside in favor of the guitar, mandolin and other instruments he has picked up along the way.  It was nice to hear him play again.  After the show, I asked him if that was the same instrument on which he'd learned to play, and he said, no, it was a replacement -- the original was ruined in an apartment flood many years ago.  Nevertheless, seeing him on stage, in the low light, playing the saxophone, brought back images of my brother, Ted, and my first real introduction to that instrument.

Ted, at age about 20, for reasons unknown to me, got the notion that he'd like to play the sax.  One day while Mom was visiting yard sales or church white elephant sales or something, she came across a saxophone.  She purchased the gift for Ted and he happily spent the next few years teaching himself to play.  When Ted passed away, shortly before his 25th birthday, the saxophone went to my brother, Ray.  I have no idea whether Ray ever played the instrument.  However, when Stephen decided to take up the saxophone in 6th grade, Ray gifted Ted's saxophone to him.  That saxophone, refurbished for the new student, was played daily for the next seven years or so.  It marched many miles in marching band.  It traveled to Florida and New York and as far as Canada for competitions. That yard sale saxophone certainly brought a lot of joy to us.  I think one of my all time favorite quotes a la Stephen came when he was in about 7th grade.

"Mom, I know where I want to go to college," said he, with enthusiasm. 
"Oh yeah? Where?"
"Either Yale or Florida State."
"Ummmmm... OK.  Why?"
"Well, Yale is a really great school, but it's very expensive.  Florida State has a great marching band!"

Well, Stephen went to neither Yale nor Florida State, but then again, he didn't become a garbage truck driver (his dream at age about 5) nor a glass blower (5th grade ambition).... Still he happily performs in community theatre productions and, apparently, still breaks out the saxophone, every now and then!

So that was last weekend and since then we enjoyed five beautiful sunny days before the rain set in. We managed to finish one of the roads and get the drainage systems working (we think) in preparation for the arrival of the new "pump house" this week.  We are relocating the well pump, water tank and softener system from the current location at the back of the house to the side of the house.  This will allow us to eventually add on to the back of the house without obstruction.  I look forward to another productive week on the old farmhouse, with the sunny weather predicted.

Digging trenches

Laying Water Line (for Hoses)

Adding Dirt
Burying Drainage Pipe
Trying to beat the Rain

Compacting compaction soil layer

Spreading compaction soil

Road with first layer of Crush-n-Run

This week I have also been enjoying reading the blog posts of one of my son's best friends from school days.  Travis was Stephen's first friend when we moved to Virginia in 1988 and they remained good friends, both in and out of school, in Scouts, and in church youth group, through their graduation from high school in 1999.  I lost touch with Travis when he went off to college, but recently found him on Facebook and have been catching up.  Travis has, this week, embarked on fulfilling one of his long-time dreams.  He has taken a leave of absence from work, entrusted his "everyday commitments" to his wife for the next few months, and has begun his hike .... he aspires to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in the next five months.

Travis writes a journal entry (daily so far) to keep us (those of us who must live vicariously through his adventures) up to date. As of his last entry, he'd hiked a little over 30 miles.  I am adding his blog to the list of interesting reads that appear on the shoulder of my blog.  I hope you enjoy his journal of his trek as much as I have.

It's been more than three weeks since I saw my grandbaby, and I am itching to take a drive back over there.  They grow and change so quickly in these early days. I'm going to try to get over there for a few days in April.  Hard to believe she is already three months old!
Jenn and Eloise (Flower Child)

I do so love Spring .... the big thrill for me is seeing all of the plants that survived the winter and are starting to put on their blossoms and leaves.  I was excited to see that the dozen Canna Lilies I planted last year have multiplied, and I have counted nearly five dozen new lilies popping out of the ground.  The plum, peach, pear, cherry and apricot trees are all in bloom.  The fig, apple trees and the grape, raspberry, blackberry, black current, gooseberry, and strawberries are all leafing out.  The forsythia is brilliant yellow and the azaleas are about to open in pinks, reds, purples and whites.  It will be interesting to see which annuals return from seeds dropped last year.

"Mr." tries out the new road....





Meanwhile...... there's still plenty of work to be done!

Benson inspects trenches


Phillip said...

Mr & Benson seem well suited for the tasks of supervisors & inspectors of works.

Judy's Corner said...

LOL Phillip! They certainly think so (they are SOOO critical!)

Dad said...

Re: photo of pear, Dad says "looks like a singleton to me! Am I missing something?" (get it? Pear pair get it?) (Yes, another of Dad's jokes.) (Yes, this is Dad's wife typing, he tried to submit comment but may have messed it up.)

Judy's Corner said...

Love it Dad! (and Dad's wife, LOL)

Yep, I get it. Sounds like one of Dad's punnnys!