Saturday, October 14, 2006

I'm Baaaaaaack! (Like a favorite relative or a recurring boil, depending on how you see it!)

Yes, I'm back. I didn't actually go anywhere, just didn't make time to blog. But, I miss writing so I'll just have to make time for it. Now if I could just make time for exercise.........

Okay - some catching up. Jerry had an aunt and uncle who used to live in a brick house at the intersection of Route 2 & 258. His aunt (Edna) who lived there died two years ago, and his uncle (Jack) who lived there died last week. Also living there had been Jack's brother and one of Jack and Edna's sons, Larry, who is autistic. They have another son, Tom, who is married and living in Pennsylvania. When Jack died last week, Tom had to make some tough decisions. He decided to sell the house and use the proceeds to buy a house near him in Pennsylvania where Larry and Jack's brother could live. The problem was that the house needed to be cleaned out and put on the market - FAST. That wouldn't have been a problem except that Edna and Jack had been there since 1968 and, well, so has everything else in the house. The house was nearly bursting with STUFF. Jerry took his dump trailer and helped Tom clean stuff out a few days. They got two full trailer loads of stuff to go to the dump - and that's not counting the countless trips Tom made to the local landfill with a loaded pickup truck while Jerry was dumping his trailer. (The dump trailer had to be dumped at the landfill here near us - the one near the house wouldn't accept large loads like that). In the basement they found boxes and boxes of canning jars. Jack's brother used to have a produce stand at Wayson's Corner and so Edna never had a shortage of things to can. Jerry's mom told Jerry to take the jars home for me. Wow! I don't think I'll ever need to buy jars again. I love them! One of them was an old blue jar. I won't use that for canning - it looks too pretty on my table. Now I've found a produce auction in St. Mary's County that I hope I can get to before the end of October when it closes for the season. You have to buy in bulk, but that's okay. The local grocery stores buy their produce from there. There are BIG lots of things (like the huge cardboard boxes of watermelons you see in the stores in the summer) and then there are smaller lots which small shops and restaurants buy. That's more my size! Well, we'll see if I can make it there this season. If not, there's always spring. We're talking with Jerry's brother about another beef this year, and probably getting a hog from Amish people who raise them. It's nice having food that you know where it came from and what's in it - grain-fed and no antibiotics. No E. coli, either!

I am not a superstitious person, but Friday the 13th was definitely a bad day for Jerry. I don't know if I posted about this before or not, but a few months ago Jerry, his uncle, and another man went in together and bought a chipper for when they do tree jobs. To make a long story short, they got taken on the chipper, and it has been a total pain in the you-know-what, and has cost more to repair so far than what they paid for it. On a side note, right around the time that they bought this one, a chipper was stolen down the road from us. Jerry had his in the garage while he was fixing it and then painted it. We teased him that it looked highly suspicious that a chipper was stolen, then he got one that he had in the garage for a long time and then painted it!. Unfortunately, there's a bill of sale for Jerry's, and it came from Virginia. I say unfortunately because it's unfortunate that they actually paid money for this thing. Okay, back to the story.

Jerry was going to do a tree job yesterday and was sitting in his truck waiting at the meeting place for his uncle. He had picked up his cousin on the way. While the two of them were sitting in a parking lot at a convenience store waiting, a solid black cat climbed out of a storm drain and walked right in front of them across the parking lot. Jerry said he and his cousin looked at each other and his cousin remarked that this couldn't be a good sign. They laughed about it and Jerry said he didn't give it another thought. At the first job the chipper ran fine at first, but then the radiator started leaking. Luckily, they were finishing up so they didn't worry too much about it. Then they went to a second job and here the belts flew off, the radiator continued leaking, and it became obvious that the bearings in the power unit (which Jerry had meticulously replaced a month ago after having to order specialized parts and have them specially machined) were broken. They had just finished that job too, so they figured they would worry it about it later. While they were cleaning up after this job, the elderly man who owns the property where they were doing the tree work backed into the driveway - right into Jerry's new truck. How's that for a Friday the 13th? Jerry called me and told me about all of this shortly after the truck incident. I told him he needed to just come home, crawl in bed and call it a day. Actually, he probably should have done just that when the black cat crossed his path!

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