We missed spring planting time for lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and such, but we did manage to get in zucchini, pumpkins, and butternut squash. The garden is a ways off from the house, in the same spot once used as a garden by the various former residents of this home site. To reach it, you follow the trail Greg blazed with his BCS tractor through the sunflowers, some as high as my head.
The vines have grown quickly, especially the pumpkins. Stems an inch thick carry wide, roughly circular leaves, tightly closed blossoms, and those nifty little curlicue things that vines produce for grabbing stuff.
It is a pleasure to pull weeds from the sandy soil, especially when I remember the sticky black clay in Krum. The Kitterlings like to follow us to the garden and hunt grasshoppers. More power to them.
Until yesterday, we have done without any air conditioning at all in our new home. We did not install central heat and air, but opted instead for window units in the bedrooms and dining room. We hope to use these minimally. With ten-foot ceilings, metal roof, ceramic tile floors, lots of windows and ceiling fans, and a house orientation deliberately planned to take full advantage of cross breezes, our house is designed to keep cool. Plus, when you go without AC long enough, you get conditioned to the heat. On a really sweltering day, I often refresh myself with a full-blast cold shower or a soak in a cool tub.
But the last few nights have been uncomfortably warm, and even with all our coping strategies, Greg and I had trouble sleeping. So yesterday, on his day off, Greg began installing the window units we bought last year on sale at the end of the season.
Our bedroom got the first one. Because of its southwest orientation, it is the hottest room in the house. The installation procedure took several hours, a little backtracking, at least one extra trip to Home Depot, and intense study of a novella written by the popular writer Manual, thoughtfully included by the window unit’s manufacturer. Subsequent installations should go much quicker.
When the work was done, we plugged in the unit, turned it on, and stood there luxuriating in cold air.
The house is in turmoil just now and has been since Friday 5 June, when I dragged all our cabinet stand-ins and other items out of the kitchen and dining room in anticipation of cabinet delivery on Monday 8 June. On Saturday 6 June I got up early and painted the kitchen, and in the evening I attended my niece’s wedding with paint residue still in my hair.
When I rashly emptied the kitchen and dining room of all their furnishings eleven days ago, I expected that installation would begin immediately after the cabinets’ delivery. Sadly, I was wrong. It hasn’t started yet. After several days of performing complex gymnastics just to cross a room, I am looking forward to being able to walk from point A to point B in a straightforward manner.
While watering the garden this evening, Greg and I talked about how, less than a year ago, all this was only an idea. We remembered how we used to come out to the future home site and point and plan, and say that the house would go here, the garden over there, maybe an orchard out back. Now things are taking shape.
This past weekend I drove to north Texas to attend a conference sponsored by the North Texas Christian Writers. I stayed with Jackie, a friend from the Circle of Christian Authors whom I’ve known since Daniel was a baby. I enjoyed seeing my old friends and hearing Steve Laube speak about the state of Christian publishing today.
Then on Sunday, after I returned south, Greg and the girls and I drove to San Marcos to have dinner with Sean and Kathy McMains, friends from north Texas who migrated south some years before we did. Steve Johnson, another north Texas transplant, came over too. After dinner, the musical instruments came out. Steve had brought his guitar, but I hadn’t brought my pennywhistles, so Sean thoughtfully lent me his. It was good to play again the songs we last played together about a decade ago. Greg said later that we reminisced more than we played, about past performances, Denton Community Church, and other friends now far away.