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Life Down Highway 20

Updated: Dec 13, 2021

It’s been awhile, I realize, since I’ve let y’all in on the details of our life so maybe this post will be a newsy sort. (Beware.. newsy means long.)

We haven’t run out of work or things to do, and the future doesn’t look hopeful either.

Between trucking all week, farming on the weekends, and fixing up trucks during night hours, we manage to stay more than busy.

After much bondo work, spraying primer, tedious sanding, cleaning, and finally painting, we finished another truck project.

The satisfaction of finishing does outweigh the long hours.

The past few weeks, we’ve had a dull overcast gloom of smoke. It got to the point where the hay started to turn yellow, the growth of plants seemed stunted, and the ground stayed wet and muddy for days after watering.

This is the smoke we’ve been dealing with.

Then we had 2 glorious days of sunshine and patches of blue sky through fluffy clouds. I have never been more thankful for the sun in my life. When the smokey haze slowly moves across the horizon and blankets our world again the following day, I sigh and vow to NEVER take for granted the little everyday things.

We shut off our irrigation water for 4th cutting of hay in hopes the ground will dry so we can swath it soon. With my farm duties lessened for abit, I grabbed at my freedom and rode with Ross on the truck for the week.

Needless to say, when we got back from a week of hay hauling, Buster was bouncing 4 feet in the air and nearly unmanageable with delight. Thankfully everything seems intact as far as I can tell. His cat-killing episodes have passed and now he and the 5 felines all sleep together in one big furry heap. Extra warmth on these chilly nights.

Buster in a rare moment of sitting perfectly still.

We swathed our meager cutting of hay and spent more than a few days working up 2 fields. Alternately ripping, disking, leveling, planting, and corrugating. I now get the pleasant task of pushing water down these hundreds of furrows, walking each one with my hoe to make sure the water keeps flowing and doesn’t hang up on grass clumps, dirt piles, or rocks.

It’s beautiful fall weather...warm sunny days with crisp blue skies, leaves merging into yellows and golds, and a chill enveloping the valley the minute the sun sinks below the hills.

I love being outside, so the hours spent on the farm are enjoyable. As long as I don’t let myself think about the grass that hasn’t been mowed for 2-1/2 weeks, the flowers that need fertilizing, the overflowing laundry basket, and the encroaching bookwork.

Isn’t it something… That mindset is everything?

Sometimes cheery fun comes in little unforeseen happenings. Like the guy at Jiffy Lube telling me I look awesome! Or the time spent exploring the back corridors of the airport and people-watching with my mom while waiting on a flight. Getting the giggles with my hubby on the truck over nothing at all.

One dark night, I dreamed I was in the kitchen mixing up a batch of hand lotion. Ross came in and started relentlessly teasing me; then he tossed handfuls of chopped celery into the lotion. As if that wasn’t enough, he then began splattering lotion all over the cupboards. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I wound up and whacked him as hard as I could. Unfortunately it wasn’t just in my dream. We both woke up instantly. His first thought was that someone had broken in and was trying to beat him up. I attempted a whispered apology but dissolved into giggles, trying vainly to smother them in my pillow. He walked around the next few days with a sore neck and I walked around bursting into laughter every time I remembered. I do feel a twinge of remorse though.

Among all the work this summer, we’ve managed to squeeze in a few trips and excitement this summer. A cousin’s wedding weekend full of family and fun in the Texas panhandle, a few hours grabbed on a Saturday to attend a local truck show, and a night to ourselves with grilled steaks and delicious jalapeño poppers. In August, I flew out east to see family. The 4 days flew by, packed with unimaginable fun of biking, swimming, and quality time at the ocean. My first acquaintance with the Atlantic Ocean proved completely delightful.

We’ve had two batches of kittens born in the chicken coop. It was a little startling to reach inside the nest box for eggs and come out with a handful of kitten instead. The last mother is named Monkeyhead. And for good reason. We used to think she was somewhat mentally challenged. Now she is decidedly mad at the world. Walking around growling at the world continuously. Unfortunately 2 of her littles are following in her footsteps at a very young age. Eyes open but just starting to climb out of their home.. one day I reached down to pick one up that had escaped. The yowling, clawing, and biting that went on made me think twice about ever touching it again. Needless to say, next time I put on a welding glove. Talk about a pocket-sized firecracker. Maybe this is where the brand “black cat” comes from.

Last weekend, a dear aunt came out to visit and we spent a few blissful hours at the lake, fishing. Never mind that among all 9 of us, only 2 fish were caught. The perfect weather and blue rippling water made it worthwhile.

Well goodbye for now.. until the next fit of writing inspiration hits!

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