Saturday, December 09, 2006

What a day

12/9/06 Saturday
What a day! There are just two main events that I can think of right now. First is we finally tackled the bus. Cherie had asked about it this morning and as I thought about it I remembered that we will be canceling our dumpster service at the end of the month. There is so much crap in this bus we will definitely need the dumpster to haul it away. Therefore I decided we should tackle this today.

Before we did that I went after the two rat nests that were in the back. The first wasn’t a big deal but I knew the second would be different. Man was it ever. It had been built in and around a stack of five old tires. Talk about a rat high rise. As I dragged the tires off one by one I could see that each one was loaded with the leaves and cotton they had drug in to make nests.

Pulling the last tire off I found a network of tunnels and finally found a rat. It took off before I could nail it with the hoe. Bummer. That sucker was every bit of ten inches long, not including the tail. Skittles had been walking by not two minutes before but was no where to be found when this rodent took off. Too bad. I would have loved to see him take the rat down.

Cherie put her coat on and came out to help with the bus. I took the hoe in with me to poke around and pull stuff out. That way if there were any rats or rattlesnakes I’d be at a distance. I took this picture before we really got into it. I knew it would be nasty but this surprised me. The rat poop was three inches deep in some places. This ain’t going to be nice. Cherie stayed outside as I began to shovel the crap (literally) out. After the first wheel barrow I went and got a tarp. This we threw the stuff on and when it got full dragged the tarp to the dumpster. That was filled up by the second load.

As I dug my way I kept my eyes out for treasures. I know that Lee said she had her frying pan collection put in the bus a while back. There were other things of value that had been stored in the bus over the years plus some of my mothers things had been in there also. I really didn’t expect to find much. Everything else had been looted so I was sure the bus had been also. I did find some of the beer cans that always indicate Larry was there. Kind of like his calling cards or something.

There were tons of jars for canning all over the place. Two still had whatever Lee had canned still in them. One of them looks like it was peas. The other is unidentifiable to me, kinda resembles wood chips. There were some unusual jars that are pretty old and a few real large ones, one was just plain huge. As I went through stuff I’d see something of interest and toss it out to Cherie saying “It’s a keeper”. Mostly it was things like antique ladels. There were a few cast iron lids that had one time belonged with things in Lee’s collection of unusual and antique cast iron cooking utensils. Whoever stole it missed these.

I found a heart made of walnut so told Cherie it was a keeper. It had an inscription on the front that was a quote from the Bible. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” it said with the chapter and verse it was from listed. (Joshua 24 verse 15) I didn’t really look at it closely, presuming it was commercially made. I continued digging out the rat nests and garbage when I heard Cherie exclaim “You made this”. That got my attention. I went to the door of the bus to see Cherie peering at the back of it, trying to make out what was inscribed there.

“I can’t make the date all out but I think you made this when we were splitting up” she said with a tremor in her voice as it brought up those unpleasant memories. “I was so mean to you then” she told me. I could again see the guilt she so deeply felt in her face. “Quit that. You know it’s not your fault. You were following the advice of those who were your “spiritual” leaders. We’ve been through this Cherie. Remember? What’s done is done. We’re living for today now so forget all that” I admonished her.

I looked at it and can’t remember making it but I had inscribed on the back “To Cherie, with love. Your husband. Finished 6/20/83”. It was hard to make it out because of the dirt and wear on it so I cleaned it up after we decided to quit cleaning out the bus. That’s when I could see the date. WOW! What a coincidence? June the twentieth is the date we got married again three years ago in 2003. It was exactly thirty years before that I had made this. I went in and told Cherie. She just cried and held on to me for a while. I looked at her and told her what I’ve said so much since we’ve gotten back together “Cherie, that which was wrong has been made right. Look at us. We’re a miracle”. I told her again how much I love her and said she should be smiling, not sad. I just went into the office to plug this laptop in with it and we both got teary eyed. “I’m so lucky” she said and I told her we both were. Still blows me away how our marriage and lives have been restored. When we shared our story with Paula, the Farm Bureau lady, she told us what so many others have “You need to write a book”. My hope is that things will settle down enough here at the farm so I will be able to.

I know that I started this journal saying there were two main events that I could think of happening today. I don’t know what I had in mind other than cleaning the bus but I think it’s a safe bet to say that finding our heart from the past was the other one. The bus was just plain nasty. Cherie said “This stinks. Rats really smell”. Fortunately one of the results of my brain injury is a drastically reduced sense of smell (along with my taste senses) so I really hadn’t noticed. I do know that I should have worn a dust mask. After we got done I stripped off my clothes and had Cherie heat up some water so I could clean up. I may not have a keen sense of smell but I had a keen sense of being covered with nasty. I sucked water into my nostrils several times to wash the dust out of my nose. Then I gargled with Listerine and washed with the disinfecting soap we have. The clothes I wore were bagged to be washed separately the next time Cherie goes to the laundrymat.

We managed to get about a third of the way through the bus. I’m not looking forward to the rest but I’ve gotta do what I gotta do. We pretty much filled the tarp this last time so, with no room in the dumpster, we folded it over the crap and weighted it down so it won’t blow away. There was a long dresser in the bus that had every drawer packed full with rat nests made of cotton from the fields and clothes from the bus. Also there were several rat skeletons. They pick up garbage on Tuesday so I’ll have to wait till then to work on the bus. In fact I might take Leroy, our well guy, up on his offer to let us use his trailer.

It’s getting late. Hi all you guys in Toledo. Cherie and I send our love. Don’t worry about things. Yeah it’s dirty but it’s all part of building a home and the end will justify the means here. Can’t wait to get it done so y’all can visit. Hey I’m starting to talk like a Texan saying Y’all and stuff. Of course I still will have a “Youse guys” slip out. It’s funny cause when I talk with some folks down here and tell them I was born in Big Spring they say “You don’t sound like your from here”. Oh well.

Here’s a picture of where I burned some of the weeds where the garden used to be. Look how the sand has drifted up. Almost over the fence. I suppose I should get this posted and go cuddle with my lovely wife. Night all.

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