Sunday, March 21, 2010

The grub worm report

Somewhere in the very early 80s, I think it was, Mr. Sunflower took me on a three week driving tour of the midwest, to meet his family, visit his alma mater, and see where his family has farmed corn and soy for four generations now. It was the first time to meet everyone, and I was a nervous wreck.

I remember the afternoon I met his mom and dad like it was yesterday. Retired farmers, they spent their winters in Florida and their summers near the family in a small town near the farms. We were invited to their place for lunch. We were all terribly nervous, and conversation wasn't just exactly flowing. Finally, Roger asked his mom: "Well, mom, what's new here in Roanoke?" (population 400, I think it was, but don't quote me). Her reply, with tinges of angst: "Well, them grub worms is eating the church lawn again."

I was in shock at the news, and I immediately fell in love with her, right there on the spot. This was the part of America I had been missing in my life, and I felt like I had landed right, exactly, where I should have always been. I probably started purring.

So in the years since, with all the travel we both do, we use the term "Grub Worm Report" for our evening telephone conversations, the sharing of the little day to day things that matter not to anyone else but us...the dogs did something funny, the neighbor's old truck broke down in the middle of our road again, those pesky squirrels were attacking the chains that keep the lids on the bird feeders in get the idea.

So, after this long preamble, here's my weekly grub worm report:

We had some absolutely drop dead, gorgeous days this week. One of my highlights was watching the snow glacier on our roof make its slow journey to the ground (it took about 6 days). I captured photos on March 12 and then again on March 17...with the final crash happening on the 18th, while I was out walking in the yard. (Note: this is classic grub worm material.)

I saw my first prairie dog this week, on the ski valley road. While I know they are not beloved by many, I still find them amusing...probably because I don't have to live with them. It was a great sign of spring. I also saw one of our yard bunnies out a few times this week...ditto. I watched a pair of birds, well, frolicking, and then inspecting another of the bird houses out in the yard.

I've been reading a fun book..."The Geography of Bliss" by Eric Weiner. Weiner, a former NPR reporter, visited a researcher in Switzerland who has spent a decade or more building a database of information about where the happiest people in the world are, and what makes them so happy. This book is a lighthearted account of his visits to approximately 10 of those countries. It has been great entertainment, as has my other travel reading this winter.

Last, but not least...Friday a snow storm ripped through here like I've seldom seen. The winds were wicked and I honestly felt like there was a possibility I could wake up, house intact, in Farmington yesterday morning. (Luckily, this did not come to pass. I couldn't bear another serious relocation, I don't think.) It's melting fast, though, and I've discovered I'm feeling a lot more charitable about snow since the end is in sight!


swamericana said...

Martie: Great reading! Really fine! The grub worm report with its familial touch. A first visit with his family. And, what broke the tension echoes down to....

Your writing on snow glacier, prairie dog, and reading material is so insightful into your days. I look forward, as always, to reading your Grub worm report, even though you may not title your post that way.

Mr. Sunflower has a wonderful background and you have settled in one of the most beautiful areas of the world. Soybeans and corn. Middle America. Classic.

swamericana said...

Martie: Seems as if this winter is ushering in a new Ice Age. Cold down here, today. Winds are also high. And, you sighting a yard bunny? Can spring be far behind?

Taos Sunflower said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Taos Sunflower said...

Jack: I saw an El Nino report last night that says the frequency of these storms is about to spread out, and then soon, we'll be left with only the winds. We only got a few inches here, but a friend in Questa had over a foot when I spoke with her yesterday morning. I guess Denver got really slammed. A friend in San Diego was complaining to me last week that it was "hot"...high 70s...I told her to shut up already. I'm going out in a couple of weeks, and have optimistically ordered some Bermuda shorts (something I've been loath to wear for decades), in anticipation of something resembling summer. No new critter sightings...I expect they went back into their little homes and are waiting for the next burst of warmth. But then...I must admit...I haven't exactly been spending lots of time outdoors looking for them, either! PS I have just learned that Blogger won't let you edit your comment once it has been posted...a spelling error...can't let a professor see that...

Robyn said...

Grub Worm Report - love it!!