Tuesday, July 24, 2018
While daughter Lali and her family vacation in the West, I am property-sitting, which is much easier and fun than baby-sitting. The five-acre property, known in the neighborhood as Winter Wood (after a former owner George Winter whose name is on a marker by Lye Creek) edges what is now called Darlington Woods, which is managed by Purdue University.) A stone road leads to two other small properties. The road once crossed over Lye Creek, but it’s now gone and the county is unable to replace it.
I’m touched once again with the deep sense of rural life. At this moment — 8:30 PM — I can hear no traffic noise. A small plane is just now flying rather high overhead. Corn is still growing, so I hear no tractors. Radio and TV could be a link to urban life — if I turned them on which I haven’t. My one neighborly contact was the purchase of two ears of corn from the Hole family for my dinner.
The work that I offered to do is identified on a sheet of paper.
— feed and water the cats and dog
— take the weekly run to the recycling center
— spray several of the plants with a deer-hating scent
— water the seedlings if it doesn’t rain
— tell the kitchen staff if any boxes arrive
There is no rule against my adding to the list, so it’s been my pleasure to empty one of the compost silos and spread the material on a row where it can be conveniently turned. I am incorporating into the bio-degrading material a bit of top soil.
Another volunteer task is weed-whacking which, on a five-acre lot is a never-ending task. Today while edging around a tree I came within eight six feet of a hornet nest, built quite low to the ground. Fortunately I didn’t get stung.
Tomorrow I hope to attach sweet potato vines and tomato vines to string cables, which greatly reduces the amount of garden space used by these two crops.
A drive in the country may be this: an old barn … donkeys fenced into an two acres of grass … Cornstalk Creek … corn fields with a seed company sign (Becks, Asgrow, Dekalb) … a small property with a big truck, indicating that someone in the family hauls corn … Lost Creek … a 250 acre field of soybeans … a rural delivery ice cream truck … Indian Creek … New Hope Church … at the end of the lane a table, an umbrella and a sign “sweet corn for sale,” … a house tyvek-ed perhaps years ago … a sign “Jamestown, 15 miles.”