“This is how post-apocalyptic movies begin”, says my friend at work, “It stops raining and then never rains again.”
After complaining so much about our soggy fall and winter I almost feel bad complaining about dry, dry, dry summer. It’s like the Northwest has suddenly gone bi-polar. After the wettest season on record we’ve now broken the record for the longest dry spell. 58 days I think it was without rain, and when it did rain we got perhaps 3/10 of an inch. No rain since. The grass is crunchy. A walk through the yard sounds like you’re walking on paper.
The late heavy snow that we had earlier in the year pretty much wiped out our pears and plums.
We have two plums and four pears. Now I understand the drive to preserve as much of each crop as possible. Luckily we don’t have to rely solely on our own results to feed us. I do now have an inkling of what a failed crop must feel like to a subsistence farmer. Just an inkling though.
On a lighter note I sent the picture below to another nearby hobby farmer who has a Dexter bull we’re talking about using for, um, passionate stuff.
In my defense, the person I’ve been talking to sent me a picture of her bull first. Still, it feels a little like a bovine match.com. Swipe right. (I don’t really know what that means but I hear the kids say it all the time!)
I have no segue for the next paragraph.
I just finished listening to Never Caught, a book about Oney Judge. Oney Judge was a slave owned by George Washington. Well actually she was owned by Martha Washington. Except actually she was one of Martha’s dower slaves which means she actually belonged to Martha’s first husband, Daniel Parke Custis, and Martha was given use of her along with 1/3 of Daniel’s estate until Martha’s death at which time ownership would pass to Martha and Daniel’s offspring. Just surreal.
Daniel Parke Custis is a distant ancestor of mine. My mother discovered this many years ago during a genealogy jag. Up until listening to this book the admittedly indirect link we share with the first president of the United States was not something I thought about much. It’s made no difference in my life – other than perhaps a chuckle every once in a while at a party or in conversation. But it was downright jarring to listen to this narrative of slavery and escape from slavery and pursuit of human property where every other character’s name was Custis. It’s disturbing to think that I share even a little blood with people who owned other people… and worse, pursued them after they escaped that awful institution.
Sometimes life gives you information you have no idea what to do with.
Oney Judge escaped slavery in her early twenties and although she was always property in the eyes of the law, she lived as a free woman until her death in her 80’s. She gave a couple of interviews towards the end of her life and was asked if she regretted running away seeing as how she actually had to work so much harder outside of Mount Vernon. She replied that she would rather die than return to slavery. I think I would rather have had Oney Judge as an ancestor.