Because we never go anywhere or do anything, my wife, Marsha, and I find it difficult to believe that millions of Americans are eager to get back to their local pub, church, beach and restaurants. The only thing different about this summer are the rose chafers, which, even in the frenetic act of reproducing, eat my peaches. I’ve also noticed for the first time that the white clover in my lawn does better with no rain than grass. Clover must have a deeper root system.

A Facebook friend complained about not being able to get out and about. I agreed that party animals might find it annoying to be confined to the home, hunkered down, as it were, like a little animal in the ground.

He said, “You got that right. I’m going stir crazy just sitting here day after day, not daring to stick my nose out the door.”

When I mentioned that these virus-plague things only run for a year or so, he said, “Virus? I ain’t scairt of no virus. It’s the damn ticks.”

As careful as I am, ticks got me twice so far this summer, and the pharmacist told me to stay out of the sun while on Lyme disease medication. Luckily, a kind neighbor who summers down the road drove his daughter up so she could pick my rhubarb in the hot sun.

She has a bicycle, but you are taking your life in your hands if you ride a bicycle on these roads, so her father did the right thing.

Day after day the girl picked rhubarb. Then she weeded carrots. You have to love a girl who lives to weed carrots.

Then she helped me repair a first-class garden hose that exploded when I left it out in the sun with the pressure on. The hoses you buy at the town dump store aren’t what they used to be. This girl is just a wisp of a thing, but she has hands like Wonder Woman when it comes to jamming a hose on a connector – after I’ve heated it in hot water, of course. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be able to do things like that.

I told her that she couldn’t tighten the screws with a regular screwdriver like she was trying to do because they were Phillips head screws.

She said, “No, they work with both kinds of screwdrivers.” You understand that she could see them and I couldn’t. You don’t know how much you are missing until you work with a young person who can see, hear and think.

Before I could ask her to go out in the pasture with a four-tine gardening fork and collect cow nutrients for next year’s garden, they packed up and returned to Boston. On her last day here I learned that for the past couple of summers her parents have sent her to a camp where small children learn to milk cows and hoe corn. Had I known that earlier, I would have told them, “Here’s the deal. Either you let us adopt her, or you can pay me $3,000 a week for Maine Farm Camp.”

A child reminded me that I can no longer see or use my hands. But it is the mind that seems to be incapable of reason that is cause for alarm. This is how that works.

You get your credit card statement by email and click on the screen to pay it.

You notice that the amount will be deducted from your checking account.

You know that you do not want to pay with your checking account because you pay everything possible with your credit card.

You click here and there to see if there is an option to pay this with your credit card.

Something in your head finally clicks and you quickly look down to see if you remembered to dress that morning.

The support from a loving spouse keeps many of us going.

My wife, Marsha, keeps her room at 70 degrees.

I keep my room at 80 degrees.

We watch different things on TV.

I like professor Dale Martin’s Yale lectures on the New Testament.

I don’t know what Marsha watches, but I hear gunshots and people groaning in the next room. So I have to assume it is a news broadcast.

I stand at my computer in the front room. It is my space.

She sits in her chair and does word puzzles with her iPad in the contiguous room. It is her space.

I recently walked into her space, went up to her, put my hand on her shoulder and gazed lovingly down into her eyes.

She said, “What is this?”

“Quality time.”

She sighed and looked at her watch.

The humble Farmer can be heard Friday nights at 7 on WHPW (97.3 FM) and visited at:

www.thehumblefarmer.com/MainePrivateRadio.html


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