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Friday, July 24th, 2015

July 24th, 2015

It has been a hectic, harrowing, but productive week at Woodcrest Farm.  We have been short-handed all week, so Keegan Huntington and Ori Awai have been helping out for morning milking, and Stephen has been doing the evening milking mostly single-handed.   In between, we have been trying to keep up with the livestock chores, harvesting and maintaining the gardens, and working on the new pasture at East.  I’m relieved to report major progress there – the beef herd is now in new quarters on the west side of Woodcrest Farm Lane, having moved across the street around 4:00 on Wednesday.  There is lots to do yet with the pastures, but the immediate job of getting the pasture fenced, electrified, and a water line put in has been finished.

Last weekend David finished up the catwalk in the barn so people about 5′ tall can walk from one loft to the other – or just sit up there and observe things.  I don’t know what we were thinking when we designed it for small-ish people to walk across – who in the world is going to use it?  Cats, perhaps.  But, its impressive, and thanks to David, safe.

Wednesday and Thursday we had the excitement of seeing David and Sandi’s new house arrive in two HUGE halves (72′ x 16′) and towed up their hill and set on the foundation.  Glory to God!  It really is happening.  Its going to be a beautiful house.

Wednesday afternoon Eli and Elayna arrived at RDU with Jaimie to spend a few days and get transported to Assateague.   Eli helped milk Thursday, and both of them got reacquainted with all of their farm friends, most notably Tucker.

Casey King is now officially on the farm.  She has been learning the ropes with Stephen and Beth tutoring in livestock and garden jobs, and there’s nothing like getting thrown in at the deep end to facilitate learning.   That’s because Chris and I are off (as of today) to Assateague island with our family for the next week.   It hasn’t been an auspicious beginning to a vacation.   Chris has been suffering from a broken shoulder which has been (too) slowly healing, and then for the past several days has developed pain in her knee.   A visit to the orthopedist yesterday resulted in a diagnosis of arthritis, and after a bad night last night she opted to get a cortizone shot before leaving town – and access to medical care.  So, we got underway at noon instead of 10am as planned.  We still would have been OK, but we stopped in South Hills VA (about 1.5 hrs up the road) to for supplies and snacks at Walmart, and at the checkout counter I handed her the car key and told her I would meet her at the car; then headed for the rest room.  Back at the van we got the kids back in their car seat, and I asked her for the key.  No key.  Thus started a 2 hour ordeal.  We looked every place, but no key.  We began calling locksmiths, car dealers, and even 911.  No key.  By 5:15, with all the locksmiths unavailable, car dealers useless, and no key turned it to the “courtesy” counter, our only option left was to ask David and Sandi to drive up with the truck and one of their vehicles, transfer everything to the truck, get to Assateague to meet Tim and Jaimie, and then somehow get the van towed to a dealer who could make one of the “secure” programmed keys sometime next week.  Not a great prospect.  That’s when Chris had the thought that somehow she might have dropped the key in the trash while throwing away some toothbrush packaging.   So, off I went to Walmart’s trash room to pick through the last 2 hours of lobby trash.  It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, and just before I gave up the job as hopeless I spotted something black and plastic in the melange of detritus at the bottom of the bag I was exploring and – unbelievably,  there it was.  Thank you Lord!

Back on the road, we couldn’t make up that delay so we are now safe and sound in a Budget Inn on Rt. 13, about an hour south of Assateague.  We chose this because trying to set up at 10:30 with two sleepy children was more than Chris could stomach, and more than I wanted to do by myself.  Enough, already.

So, that’s the day on and off the farm.  We hope the folks at home had an easier time, but they missed the thrill of finding that key when all hope was lost.   We find it easy to be grateful to God when things like this happen.

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