Today, my older daughter and I confirmed that the mower would fit in the back of our van, took out the seats, emptied it of my crates of supplies (we kept the emergency kit and cooler of van water, though), and loaded it up.
I won’t be taking it to the shop until they open on Tuesday. I had thought of dropping it off tomorrow, but my brother tells me they don’t have a secure drop off point.
Which means the mower, with an almost full tank of gas, will be in the van for two nights and a day, in the heat we are having again.
I made sure to open the windows a fair bit. Plus, we still haven’t replaced the handle on the garage door (I finally got some replacement cable for it), so it’s wide open. No chance of accumulated fumes.
Earlier in the day, I went into town with my younger daughter so she could drop off some resumes, and we could pick up a few things at the grocery store. There’s a hardware store next to it, so I popped over for a bit. Turns out they don’t have fan rakes, but they did have metal roasting sticks. So I picked up a few for our next cook out. 🙂
My mom called while we were out, so I called her back as soon as we got home. She was wondering how we were doing in this heat (we were hovering around 30C today), and telling us that if we open the basement doors, we would get cool air. I remember doing that, when I was growing up here. It works very well. Unfortunately, we can’t do that until we’ve cleaned up the basements. The old part basement is pretty good, but the new part basement is filled with all sorts of breakable things (years of accumulated jars and booze bottles, spare florescent light tubes, etc.), and way too many hidey holes that the cats would get into.
While we were talking, I told her about the different areas I’ve been working on. I found out that she did, indeed, deliberately plant those little spruce trees at the fence line. Why there, I ask her. Where else? she answers. 😀 So I bring up that, when the trees are full grown, they will destroy the fence. Oh, by the time they’re that big, she says, it won’t matter. I think she was implying the fence would be old, or would be replaced before then? I’m not sure. I told her I will be transplanting them, once I find a good place of them. Much to my surprise, she just said not to worry about them for now. Considering that, earlier in the conversation, when I told her I cleaned up around her white lilacs, she thought that meant I had cut them down, this is a good thing. 😀
Then I mentioned wanting to clean up the bushes growing around the other house.
In the past, these false spirea had covered the old stairs on both sides, as the wood rotted away. I remember this because, when we made a road trip to visit family after getting our first van, I had tried to go to the door and a step gave out under me! Now there are nice strong steps, and I want to keep them well maintained.
Which means cutting back the spirea. Plus, I’ll be thinning away the dead branches, etc.
As I tell my mother this, she asks me how her vines are doing.
All I could think of were the vines I’ve been finding all over the place, choking out trees and bushes.
No. Vines. She had planted them by the steps. How are they doing?
Well, I did notice what appeared to be dead vines in the spirea, which I thought were the same vines I’ve been getting rid of all over. That was not what she was talking about.
Then she mentioned she’d actually picked from them.
Picked what? Berries? I had no idea what she was talking about. The only vines I’ve seen don’t have berries.
Finally, she remembered the English word for them; grapes.
We have grapes?!?
That’s on my list of food plants, too, but at the bottom of the list, since they need a lot more tending than most plants.
I told her I didn’t remember seeing any, and perhaps the spirea had choked them out? I told her I would check.
Which I did.
Lo and behold, there are, indeed, vines growing that aren’t the ones we’ve been fighting for the past while.
Not only that…
… there are even little baby grapes started!
I will have to ask my mom if she remembers what kind they are, so I can look up how to properly care for them. There are not a lot of varieties of grapes that are hardy enough for our growing zone, so even if she doesn’t, I should be able to figure it out.
I do know that they shouldn’t be the way they are now! If possible, I would want to transplant them to the fence, which can be used as a trellis, and they will have full sun. With judicious care, we should be able to get good harvests of grapes from them.
Oh, I am suddenly quite excited! I had no idea my mother had ever planted grapes! She’d simply never mentioned them before.
I filled in my mother about all sorts of things, from what the electric company told me about clearing the trees, and my wanting to get a quote for the job, so we know what to budget for, to progress on the flower gardens. She had a hard time understanding some of what I was telling her, sometimes. She has what she’s always done so firm in her mind, it’s hard for her to picture something different, just from a description. But it was a good conversation, overall, even if she doesn’t seem quite sure about what I am doing. When it gets to a certain point, though, she starts talking about how this is all men’s work, so she will talk to my older brother about it, so he can take care of it. We got to that point in the conversation, but I didn’t mind too much at all, since she started talking about how good my dad was about taking care of things, and how he understood electricity and plumbing and so on. Then she started talking about how women’s work was housekeeping and so on, and I just kept saying, no. Nope. No. Until she started to say, well, that’s how she and my dad did things, and that worked for them, but others might do it differently.
Yay, Mom! That right there was a HUGE step for her, and I am so proud of her. 🙂
It was a good conversation.
Later on, while talking to my older brother, he told me he’d just talked to our mom as well. At one point during their conversation, he told me that my mom expressed her satisfaction with how we are taking care of the place.
She would never tell me that to my face, of course, but I don’t expect her to. For her to say it to my brother, however, is another HUGE step, and I am so proud of her. 🙂
I am happy that we are able to take care of this place for her. It takes a big burden off of her shoulders, and it’s been pretty good for us, too (as much as possible, under the circumstances! 😀 ). She was having a hard time with letting go, which is understandable. If she is reaching the point where she is able to start trusting that we know what we’re doing, even if it’s different than how she did things, that will also reduce stress for her.
Win, win! 🙂