Category Archives: uncle

Wet Weekend

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Creek Saturday morning we awoke to rain! This is an occasion as we have been in a severe drought since last spring. The 14 inches of snow we received in the past 2 weeks, melted to 4 inches of liquid according to the rain barrel at the greenhouse. Now with this rainy weekend, we received another 2 inches. River barges started moving on the rivers again after sitting idle for 2 months. The melted snow running into the northern streams have made their way to the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers. Creek beds have filled once again in Missouri. The 2 creeks on Boone Hollow Farm were running with a cold rush, a soothing sound to the ear. I walked the plank to get over the creek and up the hill to the greenhouse. We cleaned the barn while the rain watered our earth. Late morning the rain subsided, and finally the sun peeped out of the clouds. A chainsaw was used on old trees near the barn, trying to avoid storm damage to the outbuilding and roads. Working alongside the half-full creek bed, I lobbed small limbs. I hauled the twigs to the huge bush pile down the gravel road while the tree frogs croaked “its spring!” Honey bees and flies buzzed about the warm afternoon air. Nature’s critters tell us.
My brother wanted to bring my grandpa out for a visit. This was their first visit to Boone Hollow Farm, so a countryside adventure for both this fine Saturday afternoon. Cellular telephone service is hit or miss, so I hoped they heard my directions okay. I explained several times before, “we are between Chandler Hill Vineyards and the Daniel Boone Home off Highway F, look for the huge barn on the right side.” Our labrador, Midnight chewed on sticks and chased after two barn cats up the larger trees while I cleaned up the limbs. He would follow with such enthusiasm walking near the gravel path alongside the wheelbarrow. But when a white SUV pulled onto the gravel road off the highway, and he recognized the sound of the vehicle. It was my father’s old SUV, and in it was two of Midnight’s favorite persons, Grandpa Earl and my brother, Steve. Grandpa took care of Midnight as a young pup. This overgrown Christmas gift became my father’s hunting companion when Midnight was too much for my 97-year old grandfather to handle. Now Midnight is Steve’s duck and goose hunting companion. Midnight ran to greet his buddies, and stayed at their sides their entire visit. Grandpa could not make the walk up the hill to our greenhouse, and it was too muddy to get a vehicle up there. So that will have to be their next trip to Boone Hollow Farm. But the farmer chat while the elder sat on the farmer neighbor’s bushhog was so refreshing like that spring rain heard in the creek bed. It backed me up 45 years ago, when jaws jabbered during the farm visits in Franklin County, where my Grandpa and Uncle Lloyd made their father’s farm into a weekend get away for their families. That circle of life again, Dean and I making a weekend refuge for our family now. And Grandpa was able to enjoy it after the weekend rain.

Bumpers, Biscuits, Beer, and Buds

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Our weekends at the greenhouse include our 81-lbs labrador, Midnight since his adoption on Christmas Day. His long, lanky legs run after the bright orange bumper I have tossed in the brushy fields 10 or 20 times. About the time Midnight gets settled laying in the sun for some rest, the farm neighbor Leo pulls onto the field road down the hill near the barn in his jeep hollering and honking his horn to announce his arrival. This scene reminds me of this children’s book Sheep In A Jeep I read to my children and read now to my grandchildren. Sheep In A Jeep
Midnight knows Leo’s voice, and anticipates dog biscuits and a jolly greeting from our farm neighbor. Two or three dog biscuits are tossed out the jeep window, with Midnight perfecting his catch everytime. Beer is a part of this scene as well. Leo welcomes everyone with his can of Stagg beer in one hand and a offer from his supply in his other hand. What I remember about Stagg beer is my Grandpa and great-Uncle Lloyd’s abundant supply of this beer during the family gatherings at the Bates Family Farm in Beaufort, Missouri forty or fifty years ago. I wonder if my cousins have carried on the tradition? Stagg beer must be having a comeback, because in more recent years I have not seen it in the stores or at gatherings until Leo. Anyway, Budlight is one of Leo’s offerings, as well. I can do Budlight. It seems Boone Hollow Farm has produced more than fruit and vegetables. Best buds after bumpers, biscuits, and beer …