"We have a lot to do this week," Mike announced. "I guess we'll have to prioritize and pace ourselves."
Yeah – like that's going to happen, I think to myself. If there's a chore to be done, Mike doesn't rest until it's done. We arrived at the homestead at 11:00 yesterday, having already loaded the old beater and driven here – what some might consider almost a day's work -- and by lunchtime Mike had unloaded the truck, put away what he could, and inserted new ballasts into a window. After lunch he worked on the Wolverine, then planted the raspberries. The photo shows him digging a hole using the old auger, which we surmise could have been Grandpa Jack's. Late in the afternoon he took a rather short bike ride, then began erecting the utility shelving on the kitchen porch, a project he had to give up with the waning light. He grilled bass for supper, which was later than usual, before showering and watching the double-header Monday Night Football presentation (part of which he had recorded).
My new sewing machine, "Bernie," was calling my name, but I also had work to do. The box of pears was ripe and ready for the dryer, so as soon as I had put away the groceries, I began to pare and slice them. My dried pears have been lauded by samplers in Seattle and Denver, and word has reached me from Philadelphia that they were spoken of in Utah. This year I will keep drying them as long as the pears remain available and affordable. Of course, the pears are just naturally good, and I add no preservatives. Once the product comes out of the dryer, I put it in baggies for the freezer to insure against spoilage. I helped Mike plant the raspberries and walked with Nellie while he rode his bike, but aside from that, I spent the afternoon paring and slicing, just finishing at dinnertime.
Right after breakfast this morning, Mike returned to the porch to continue putting together the shelving unit. "Snaps together in minutes," says the caption on the box, "with only a hammer." Mike amends: "Snaps together in minutes – about 120 of them – with only a hammer, a screwdriver, a block of wood, and an assistant." I, the assistant, was out on the porch in my robe and pajamas.
But look at the change it makes in the mechanical room! (Sorry – I forgot to take a "before" picture. Too bad.) My main complaint had been that our work shoes and boots sat on the floor under the window, and last year my rubber boots rotted and split – I figure from the sunlight. The shelving brings the footware as well as rags and bags off the floor and out of direct sunlight. Much neater and handier.
"I'm so proud of you and Dad for staying busy," said Hallie. I'm just surprised it ever occurred to her that might be a problem. And the work goes on . . .