Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

one of those months-- and it's not over yet

This was one of those months and by month, I mean June, which is a month I generally look forward to its arrival. And, I am not even talking about what went wrong in the nation. Just my own little corner. 

We had summery days, the Solstice, nights that don't begin until 9:30, flowers-- what's not to like? Well in terms of its weather there was nothing not to like. It was lovely (although we could use more rain), but in terms of other things... Well, it wasn't bad exactly (I am saying that because it's not yet over and don't want it to prove to me it is bad). It was filled with inconveniences that were unplanned. Let me count the ways.

Minor glitch-- coffeemaker's automatic feature stopped working, which meant it might or might not make the coffee and it might or might not keep it warm beyond a few seconds. Replacing it solved that problem for awhile. We do seem to go through coffeemakers pretty fast. 

In our area, June is the month ranchers get in their winter's supply of hay. That meant almost every grower, who we know, had some glitch in their equipment, including us. Our loader tractor needed to be repaired after which Ranch Boss made the annual drives down to the fields with the hay trailer to load the 800 lb. bales, bring them back here where they are stacked and await time to move them into the barns. The tractor in the field did the job but had steering that left a lot to be desired. 

There is a rush attached to this kind of farm event, and this year, it came at a very inconvenient time-- two of our grandchildren arrived just as it did for a two week visit at our small ranch or with their cousins.

Acquiring the grandchildren required driving an 8+ hours round trip, which at our ages is not fun but having them here at least once every summer, that is important to us. We had a few plans for their visit, some of which fell through, but still it was good overall for us, and we hope for them. 

A few days after their arrival, I walked into the main bathroom, the one they use, to find water flowing from the toilet water closet and reaching the hall. Ranch Boss was not there as he was picking up another hay load-- water water everywhere. I won't go in to the details, but a disastrous crack in that water closet meant there was no fixing it. That meant, as soon as the hay was in, removing said toilet, going to town, picking out a new one (they are pretty neat these days), and Ranch Boss installing it.

Back to the grandkid visit-- one local cousin got sick and that reworked when they would spend two nights with them. About the time we were going to pick them up, I wasn't feeling well, so they stayed there an extra night. 

Ranch Boss is also Techie Boss, and he had to get all his lab equipment from town where it had been more or less being stored since he no longer had a project there. That put the hay trailer into use again and required several loads. That was bad timing with wanting quality time with grandkids, but no choice again as the area it had been stored was being re-rented.

Hay and techie movement was complicated by our farm gate's automatic opener turning un-automatic. The first one of these had lasted 10 years. This one not even two, and I think we've replaced it one more time than he does. At any rate, instead of a remote opening the gate, it's currently closed with a chain and someone has to get out of the truck to open the gate and close it after passing through. This gate is the one that keeps the sheep from the highway; so it's not an option to use anytime we drive out. 

I won't even get into the problems that arrived with the last book being published June 21st. Let's just say we learned some things about that, which will hopefully save the problems recurring.

The next in the Arizona historical series  (of which I have written two with one to go) has been getting some reworking in my head as I get to know the next hero and the characters from the third story. I do this all the hard way as I sit out under the trees, look up at the birds and work out plots and characters. 

One change from it was when I realized I had to change the family's surname. For the third one, easy-- for the two already out, the work was all done by Word with me checking to make sure it didn't mix something up. I do love Word with how easy such changes are-- except of course, when it's not. 

I will say that it's convenient to write three of these books, before any come out. I had a great deal of freedom for everything except the first hero-- he had appeared in another book as to what he looked like and his age; but he was using a false name in that one, which he revealed in the first of this series. He had a good reason for the alias. So needing to change the surname was possible. I also discovered this family relates to a family in one of my contemporaries. Ancestry.com has nothing on me ;)

Despite the complications that made our grandchildren's time here maybe less fun for them, we enjoyed their visit-- even made it one day to the Coast Aquarium in Newport.

If the drive again to take them home (another 8+ hours) wasn't so much fun (there are sooooo many big trucks on the freeway), it was rewarding to see the joy on their mother's face when they returned, and she got them safely back in the nest after a little vacation on both sides. 

The weather has turned quite hot here-- like nearing 100ºF, which for our region is hotter than our usual, but the concern will be the potential of thunderstorms and fire danger. That though goes with the territory with country living. For the most part, we can decompress after Ranch Boss gets in that last trailer load of that equipment from town to here. Of course, there are still a few days left in June for something more to breakdown. *fingers crossed and knock on wood*


robin andrea said...

Wow, it does sound like quite a month there. Sure hope the weather cools down, things stop breaking, and life returns to its usual lovely pace.

Rain Trueax said...

Me too, Robin. It's sultry which makes the heat harder to take. Supposedly cooler tomorrow. If we had a/c, it'd be easier to take. We do have a room unit with the hose that goes out the window. If this lasts, we'll use it. It sucks a lot of humidity out of the room and that alone helps.

joared said...

Sounds like some of the problems were caused by our modern day electronic equipment failing to work as we come to depend on it to perform. Creates such havoc in our lives when that happens. Wonderful that your grandcchildren had that special time with you even if your plans had to adjust for the unplanned -- just like everyday life. Am sure they'll have precious memories of being with you. Your books & composing process sound interesting. Hopefully June will end on a more positive note introducing July with the likelihood the rest of your summer goes smoothly..

Your photos remind me of visits to my widowed grandmother when I was elementary school age. My uncle who lived across the road from her had a dairy farm. He commandeered me one day to drive a hand clutch Farmall tractor wagon he & friend loaded with his hay field's rectangular hay bales. Some days I lead a horse as they used a hay fork to unload a wagon piled high with loose hay that was being lifted up into a cow barn's hay mow preparatory for a wickedly cold northern Ohio's Great Lakes winter. I became quickly disillusioned with riding on the manure speaker before we even left the barnyard & never forgave him for letting naive me off too soon allowing me to sink into the muck to a depth above my high top boots which he thought was funny.

Tabor said...

Sounds as though we are on the same roller coaster, although running a farm is far more impressive in nature! Yes, this is our week down, after Scout camping, grandkid visit, a drive to the city for dinner with the son. Now a week ahead, that is less emotional and less busy.