Saturday, July 01, 2006

The rain is raining all around...

The rhymes and poems of my childhood stuck around in the back of my head until I had children of my own to read them too, and now they are back faster. Simon challenged me to recite as many poems about rain (since I constantly recite odd bits to the kids) as I could, and I got to 9 before breaking up. The one most appropriate at the moment is probably the old nursery rhyme about Dr. Foster, who went to Gloucester. As you'll recall, "He stepped in a puddle up to his middle/And never went there again." Well, if you had been here this past week, I think there's a good shot you'd never want to come again. The puddles weren't quite as high here as closer to the Mohawk, Hudson and Schoharie rivers, but there was enough rain that our occasional patches of sun have never dried the ground enough for me to mow the lawn in the back. Thus, Eric is scything it down for hay. This is not a part of the property that is *supposed* to be growing hay.

Still, we're fortunate. We're too high for the floods. And the Gilboa dam, a few miles west of here, has held through all the spring and summer rains. We're not in the flood path, but if the dam breaks (and it may), we're on the escape route. As far as I can tell, after much angst about whether and when the dam might break, the major result has been a bunch of signs saying "Flood Evacuation Route" pointing up. That's helpful.

What else is going on here? We're harvesting peas, onions, greens of all kinds, radishes and baby carrots. We usually try to have our first tomatoes ready by the fourth of July, but everything is so late this year that I have no hope at all of success. We're working on the fall crops - we've had so much wet weather and difficulty that I fear we have to give up on many of the earlier summer ones.

The boys were delighted when the sun came out for a bit today - it gave them a chance to splash in the little wading pool I got at a yard sale this year. And, of course, there's the playset. Grandma sweetly gave the children an *enormous* playset, and the kids in the neighborhood swarm over it like bees. It is a wonderful blessing, enabling us to cut car trips (Eli has a strong need for sensory stimulation and playgrounds fill it), and giving us a neighborhood play area. One of the houses on our road just sold, and rumor has it, to a family with *10* kids - I'm delighted. More playmates for my kids, more pickup baseball games, more friendships, more grownups to chat over the pleasures and angst of parenting. Our neighborhood is clearly an odd demographic - our 8 house street will, if this rumor is correct, have 23 children on it, at least 8 of whom are homeschooled.

We're currently plotting how best to reduce our energy consumption and adapt our home for lowered inputs. We have, of course, limited funds and many desires. Do we renovate the old kitchen to make it completely non-electric, so that we can use our existing wood cookstove and cisterns to cook? Do we convert the addition to passive solar gain? Replace the crappy windows on the sunporch? Add a greenhouse? Add a masonry stove? An outside wood furnace and solar panels to run it? Convert entirely to indoor wood heat? What shall we do?

That's about the excitement here!

Sharon

5 comments:

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