Four of our blueberry pickers came all the way from Kentucky. Last week Uncle Wayne, Aunt Gera, Matthew and Nathan stopped by our farm on their way to Wisconsin. Together we picked blueberries, played games and roasted s'mores.
We keep a selection of belts at the blueberry farm for customers to borrow. Customers loop the bucket handle through the belt and fasten the belt buckle. The belt holds the bucket, and customers can use both hands to pick berries.
Choosing a belt can be a bit of comedy or tragedy.
Though I may offer a customer the loan of a belt, I try never to make suggestions regarding size (except for children). Invariably, customers pick belts too small for their waists. Then they giggle with embarrassment, and search for a longer belt.
It’s comical to watch a particularly rotund person attempt to wear a child’s size belt. Amusing as it is, I never smile, at least on the outside.
The drama tends more toward tragedy when a wife sends her husband to the barn to grab a belt for her. The doomed man stares at the belts. “Is it better to guess too big or too small?” he wonders.
Manning the blueberry farm in the afternoon can be boring. But, the area near the belt display is sometimes a stage for entertaining dramas.
Betsy and Logan completed fourth generation renovations on our produce wagon.
The wagon was originally a manure spreader. Years ago, when Aaron’s set of wheels was a bicycle, he resurrected the piece from where it sat, sinking a little more each year, under an old apple tree near the woods. He removed the manure spreading machinery and added floorboards, sides and a tongue fashioned from a tree trunk. He painted it yellow and red and draped a blue tarp across the top, turning it into a cross between a Little House on the Prairie buckboard and a circus wagon.
Brian was the next one to wield a saw and hammer. Joel and Betsy helped to install rough-cut oak planks for the bed. Then we pulled the wagon out to the road and used it to display sweet corn in the summer and pumpkins in the fall.
For months, Betsy and Logan have been planning the fourth generation of the manure-spreader-turned-produce-wagon. Betsy scouted the neighborhood for lumber from old barns. They drew up plans and constructed the new barn-on-wheels design. They applied coats barn-red paint with accenting white for trim. When the paint was dry, they pulled the contraption out to the road, ready for business.
Julie and I canoed down the White River with friends last weekend. The excursion became an adventure when we pulled the canoes out at the landing and discovered that one of the guys had left his truck keys locked inside the Beachy Buggy at the other end of the river. Two of us bummed a ride from a couple of campers, and keys, canoes, vehicles and people were reunited.
I wandered among the hollyhocks and lilies in Lydia's mom's garden before breakfast on Sunday morning. Julie and I took a last-minute weekend trip across the state to visit our friends Lydia and Rebecca. While Julie was braiding her hair and Lydia and her mom were scrambling eggs I admired the garden and the stone garage that Lydia's dad had constructed.
Two parents, three aunts and one grandma took two kiddos to the children's zoo this week. Kaelyn was fascinated with the train. The experience was so exciting that Janessa was nearly asleep in Joel's arms by the time we reached the parking lot.
Abigail can be loud, especially when she's trying to whisper during church. When she has something important to say, though, she becomes very quiet.
She tucked her head down and looked at Brian through her long eyelashes on Saturday when she asked if she could ride his horse. Her words we too low to be distinguishable, but we guessed the meaning. In a few minutes she was perched on Saudi's sweaty back.
Friday afternoon Julie, Betsy and I made a parts run to Tilmann Hardware. We needed shear bolts and 9000 sisal baler twine.
Tilmann Hardware is located nearly fifty miles west of us in Beal City, hometown of former Michigan governor John Engler.
As well as being the closest New Holland dealer in the vicinity, Tilmann Hardware has appeal by its embodiment of the olden days. There's even a wood stove and a couple of wood chairs in the middle of the store, though I missed seeing a checkerboard on a cracker barrel.
The Beachy Buggy isn't just for fun--Friday afternoon it hauled 400 pounds of baler twine.