Sunday, July 24, 2011

Exciting Happenings

Someone came knocking on the front door around 6:30 this evening. A family pulling a camper had a blown out tire just in front of our house and wanted to know if they could park the camper in the driveway while they went in search of a tire for it. This was their second blowout in two days on the thing and so had already used the one spare they'd brought with them.

I told them to pull it on up, and I searched the phone book for tire places that would be open that late on a Sunday night. Found out that Walmart Tire Center was going to be open for another 25 or 30 minutes. They pulled up and disconnected the camper from their truck as quickly as they could, got hasty directions from me (they're from Wyoming), and took off for Walmart, which is 15-20 minutes away. They called ahead, and the folks at the tire center agreed to stay open a few minutes late for them.

While Dad was changing the tire, their son tried to run after Princess and play with her, but she was shy and led him "on a merry chase" around the yard. So Mom picked up Son and put him in the camper to play with their dog--there had been some tense moments between Princess and the visiting dog, so Dog got to stay in the camper for the duration.

While they changed the tire, I gathered food from the garden. Got a big basketful--one ripe tomato (several others were ripe but were rotten on the bottom), one green tomato that had fallen from the vine, a few grape tomatoes from a volunteer plant, several cukes, a couple handsful of green beans, and a bunch of turnips that were being forced out of the ground.

We have a TON of green tomatoes, but many of them are already going bad on bottom (blossom end rot, I think, though I'd have to verify with my gardening husband). I'm holding out hope that we'll have a bumper tomato crop again, as these plants are all taller than me and most are taller than M, but after seeing how many are bad, I'm just not sure how likely that is.

Plus, out of the random old squash seeds M threw into the garden this year, we have butternut squash growing with acorn squash and table queen squash, and some other kind I couldn't identify. I think I may have also seen a spaghetti squash in there. I'm not sure if he planted that many different seeds or if we're just seeing hybrids. In a 2' x 3' area, I had a butternut, acorn, and unidentified squash growing. No idea how that's happened.

Several of the tomato plants have fallen over from their own weight. One of our tomato cages has even been bent out of shape by them. And the green beans have bent at least one of the poles supporting them. The squash plants are growing out of the garden into the yard, and the cucumber plants are falling all over themselves. The plants are all ridiculously huge, but only time will tell if we are going to get huge crops. So far, it's a basketful of miscellaneous food every week or two...which is actually kind of nice, because we don't get bored of one thing, but we can't put anything away for winter.

Anyway, as soon as I had finished gathering from the "produce department" of our backyard grocery store, the father of the family came up to shake my hand and introduce himself while thanking me for the tipoff about Walmart and the use of our driveway. While shaking my hand, he palmed some money into it. I protested, following him back to the truck to give the money back, but he wouldn't hear of it. They had got their tire, got it changed in our driveway, and pulled out less than two hours after their blowout, not having to stay in a hotel until morning, so he thought it was well worth it. I had to agree, but I certainly didn't need the money.

All in all, though, I think it was a pretty good outcome for all involved.

* Stringham high: 80 degrees! The coolest it's been in days.
* Stringham low: Blowouts (Brought back memories of our two flats a few weeks ago, one of them on a Sunday night, as well)
* Stringham super-high: Fresh produce and helping others all in the same day!

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