By Sara Dougherty
June 13, 2016
7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Last night I arrived back from my southern excursion. Home is a moving target this summer. The cabin feels like home. Central Square is home. Rory’s is home. Whatever. It was nice to have a full night’s sleep and wake up back home in the mountains. I went over to Creek Road where I was given a few jobs for the day. Charlie had supervisor work to attend to, so I’d be at it alone until the afternoon when he said he’d be returning to help me plant melons. Before I left, I walked up to the back fields where there were more tomatoes that needed to be staked. This was a much larger field of tomatoes, so it became tiresome swinging that sledge hammer. I was exhausted when I finally finished the job.
But wait, there’s more! After staking about 100 tomato plants, I went back down to the truck which was parked near the house. I grabbed the stirrup hoe and then made my way back up to the back pastures where I spent more time hoeing through the corn. These corn rows had been demolished by crow populations and an early cold spell, so the rows weren’t really rows. I had to search for each individual plant that had survived and hoe around it in order to potentially see a yield from that lot. This made the job more difficult because I could not build a rhythm to my movements. Very tiring.
After hoeing corn, it was lunchtime. But before I was able to eat, Charlie and his friend showed up to begin laying black plastic for the melon planting. I had never seen a tractor device quite like the one this guy was pulling behind his John Deere. It was specifically made for laying down plastic, Charlie told me. We plopped the role of black, biodegradable material onto the rig and Charlie’s friend began driving his tractor while dragging the plastic down the rows. Charlie walked along side of it. We had laid three rows of plastic down near the front of the cabin I’m staying in, and another two rows down near the roadside garden. Great invention.
I was finally able to take a lunch break when Charlie went back to the house to grab the 245 melons we were going to transplant. He returned as I was finishing the last of my lunch and we headed to the field to begin putting the little melon plants into holes within the black plastic. I was surprised to see Charlie on his knees in the dirt. I hope I can still be doing that kind of work when I am 71 years old! We move methodically from row to row until all the plants were in the ground.
As I worked through the last handful of melon plants, one of Charlie’s friends, Eugene Woods, stopped by. We were discussing when the potatoes would need to get hilled when he asked me of my relations to Crown Point. When I told him I was Joe Harper’s granddaughter, his face lit up. Eugene’s father in-law was my poppy’s best friend growing up and best man at his wedding.
It’s a small world really. Wherever you go, there you are. (And there are those who were there before us.)
A Red-Tick Coon hound enthusiast. An artist. Recoverer of lost things. Simply a human. Being