Monday, May 14, 2007

Much better

5/14/07 Monday
It’s a good morning. Had a restless night and didn’t get to sleep till after midnight as Cherie was preparing for her trip to Abilene. She is doing her morning womanly thing, you know the make up and all that. I am sharp and lucid, a stark contrast to the last two days. Already been out checking the gardens. Found my first worm or caterpillar on the corn. Not really educated enough to know what to call it or to know what kind it may be. It was a small little sucker. Haven’t seen much fresh damage on the squash or melons. I planted the lone Roma tomato plant Cherie brought home in a bed I dug in the area I will put my tomatoes and perhaps peppers in. Also direct seeded the same bed with Roma seeds. It will be interesting to see how well that works. The seeds are fresh unlike all the other ones we had. Wish they weren’t hybrids. Next year we will work on getting heirloom seeds and thus will be able to use the seeds from the tomatoes we grow.

It would be great to remain cognizant all day. Duh, of course it will. Be nice to remain cognizant the rest of my life. I am debating what to do with this land as I will till we pull it out of CRP in 2011. After talking to Ronnie goats look like an attractive direction to go as that will be much easier and less complicated an operation as the organic greenhouse and pick your own orchard concept. Much as I would like to do that I must face the fact that I have limitations due to this traumatic brain injury. No I don’t think I will accept this. Sure I have difficulties but they can be compensated for. Just need a little help when things get going, hire the right people. Still smart just not all the time.

Well Cherie’s gone. She will pick up the other lady who was hired for this job. That woman has been a county extension agent in several counties and evidently has a PHD. This seems to be another one of those fortuitous happenings as Naomi (the lady’s name) will know so much we need to know regarding this farm. I hope Cherie and her hit it off. Cherie needs some friends. We are just starting a relationship with Janie and her husband is anxious to meet us as well. Now would be a good time to write about our time at Windwalker.

Janie gave us excellent directions but it wouldn’t have been hard to find that day anyway. Just followed the traffic. Pulling into the place the first thing we saw was pickup trucks lined up in two rows, each with a flatbed trailer attached that was empty. I’m talking a lot of trucks and trailers, at least to me, there were maybe forty. Following the pick up in front of us we came to an area with many, what I guess you call pavilions. Each had a corporate name and all were of different construction. Some looked like oil derricks and some were more utilitarian but all of them were clearly designed and built to meet individual tastes and usually to match what each company did. There was another building with a large open roofed area. There were a number of people milling around along with a few trucks backed in that had evidently unloaded some of the equipment such as a sound system and a custom semi with trailer that was clearly a food operation. We didn’t know what to expect, having absolutely no experience with skeet shooting, but this was a whole lot more than we imagined. You could see people on these raised platforms and hear shotguns popping all over the place. This is the source of gunfire we occasionally hear from the farm.

I called Janie’s cell phone to let her know we were here. She said “Go to the pavilion” and that she would be by in a bit. “Uh, which pavilion?” I asked a bit confused as I looked at the structures that were lined up all over. Then I figured that she meant the one big building with attached open roofed structure. With that cleared she told us to look up “???” and tell her we were friends of Janie. (Can’t remember the name but I do that well) Going to the covered area there were maybe fifty people milling about so we just grabbed a seat. I’m really uncomfortable approaching folks I don’t know and had forgotten the name Janie told me by the time we made the forty yard walk anyway. So we sat down. I had already told Janie that we overdressed after observing the others. Hell we didn’t know what to expect and would rather look to good than not good enough. We sat down away from everyone so figured we wouldn’t be hard to spot. Besides that Janie has seen our pictures in the blog many times.

So we sat and watched, both of us wondering at everything we saw. Sure enough Janie found us. She is quite a lady. I could go into a physical description but that would be mundane as the words that best describe her go to the energy she exudes. Not sure if I know the right words but I’ll give it a shot. A vivacious, outgoing, personality, lots of joy and enjoyment of life around her. She’s one of those people you just like to be around, the kind you want to know. Everyone she saw was greeted warmly and they all knew her and returned that greeting, often with the teasing jokes that come with comfortable friendships.

After expressing how glad she was to finally meet us Janie began introducing us to everyone around. That was a rapidly growing crowd as evidently much of the shooting was coming to an end and it was getting time to eat. Of course I lost track of introductions quickly and didn’t keep up but was glad to shake hands and say “I’m bob and this is my wife Cherie” as they told me their names. Glad most had name tags on. Janie was off into the crowd in a heartbeat but we were left in friendly hands as she caught up with the many she knows. As she many of those she introduced us to sat at the table we were at and started talking to us with an openness we haven’t experienced much down here. It became evident that many if not most of these people were businessmen and executives yet despite that we were asked things like “Can I get you something to drink”. "Hospitality" is the right word here. When it came time to get food a guy said “Just follow me” as he detected I was uncomfortable. Great grub here folks. The semi food operation was top notch and did a heck of a job. These guys got it together.

Getting our plates we returned to our seats. There was lots of good conversation as these folks took a genuine interest in who we were and where we came from. Of course I told the story of how Cherie and I were reunited and didn’t cry as I so often do when I tell of this wonder we have experienced. I am worried because I often am so open about my past without thinking of how others receive my history of drug addictions and criminal activity. How I built two successful companies from scratch goes over well but the other part probably shouldn’t be part of an introduction. Got to learn to not be so open I guess but I just don’t put on a face. I am who I am and honesty is an important part of my creed but I suspect I am just shooting myself in the foot. Still something I am sorting out. Come to find out this event was a fund raiser for a ministry that helps get teens off the street and away from the evils that drugs and so often destroy. Janie talks about them in her blog. I suppose I would have fit in there somewhere.

I was pretty clearheaded and lucid, conversing freely with enthusiasm but towards the end all the activity and conversation around me started to take their toll. Cherie could see this as only she can and asked me “Do you need to go?”. I said no and hung on for a bit longer but finally had to get up and walk. Cherie asked if she should go with me but I told her no. “Don’t get lost” she advised knowing that when I am bad I literally do that, forgetting where I am or was going. All I needed was to get away from all the activity that I was not able to filter out and find some quiet solitude that allowed me to settle a bit. I walked over to where all the pavilions or shooting stands (still not sure what to call them) were and admired the variety of construction. I realized these were very similar to the places you find in sports arenas that corporations use to strengthen relationships with their clients.

Settled down and having my thoughts somewhat gathered I returned to the pavilion where I rejoined Cherie, who was glad to see me coming back. We sat back down and resumed fellowshipping with those at our table. Then came the point where they started presenting awards based on how folks did on the shooting range and honoring all who’s presence and companies donated to this organization the fundraiser was for. I can’t remember their name but you can find it on Janie’s blog, Sounding Forth. There was lots of kidding and joking as prizes were presented from a raffle drawing between these comrades in business. It was a great atmosphere full of joviality.

When all was done the crowd broke up and many returned to shooting skeet and some left for home or wherever. Janie and some who were at our table went to a shooting area attached to the food pavilion that fired the clay disks from five or so different locations. This offered a challenge as the disks flew at different angles and distances. Janie had gotten Cherie and I ear plugs to protect against the noise of the shotguns reverberating under the pavilion. This was a kind of competition shoot where two shooters were up and would take turns at firing, I think. It was hard for me to follow by this time. It seemed each shooter could only have two shells in their gun and had to hurriedly reload to complete each round. Often they didn’t have a chance to fire at a clay before it followed it’s path to the ground. Cherie and I were both fascinated as we watched this. Cherie more so than I cause at least I had seen this on TV. My dad had taken my brother and I out hunting dove before so I have fired a shotgun several times but most of what I remembered was him getting mad when I didn’t do something right like shooting at a dove that was too far away. Dad tried so many times to do things with us but he trampled on the fun with his temper, turning what could have been a good and close time sour.

After they were done shooting Janie retired with us to the main building which housed the vending operations. It was also full of mounted animals like deer and pheasant. This took Cherie aback as she looked around at the deer heads and with an intake of breath said “oh my”. Something else that was new to my city girl. Janie caught that and tried to soften Cherie’s shock by saying some of them were fake. Cherie was fine, just had been surprised. We talked over some chocolate cake one of the women with the ministry the fundraiser was for. She also joined us. This was the first time we really got to talk with Janie as she had been real busy during the event. Janie puts on several of these kinds of things so was an advisor and integral part of this event in addition to knowing many of the participants. It was good to relax with her. Unfortunately I had still not recovered all the way from the slowdown triggered by so much activity and let Janie know I needed to go home. Hated to do that. But we will be seeing each other again and look forward to doing so. It’s good to know good people.

Well I am doing well and need to get stuff done. First I need to take our garbage to the landfill. Hopefully it’s dried out enough to get into. Then I plan on going out to Bud Glassman’s property that has a big pile of rocks that were probably removed from the farm fields behind it. This particular area he called a pasture and told me about it when I inquired about the pond on the corner to cut firewood out of. I’ll use the rocks to line the flower beds I am making for Cherie.

You can tell I am doing well cause I write so much. Hope you don’t mind the long posts but these serve as keys to unlock my memories at a latter time.


Eric said...

I'm glad you got to meet and visit with Janie. Your description of her is exactly correct, if perhaps even a bit understated. Her energy level wears me out just being around her! You'll meet no one kinder or more caring than her.

Janie said...

Wow - who's paying y'all to say all this cool stuff about me?

Honestly...I am honored to know all of y'all. (You, too, Eric!)