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 place...you 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!