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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rains (& now Sun) in Wine Country

Last weekend at this time it was storming in our area. While we were sheltered inside -- the vineyards were exposed to these elements and it is, according to the experts,  risky for rain to come to the vineyards at this time. Surrounding our town the hills are filled with vineyards on almost every available piece of land:

This is a typical view of vineyards within a few minutes of our house. It is hoped that the produce from these and other vines will be converted to and stored in places like -- our's and other folks' cellers:

As you can see there is room for some more . . .

Aside from the huge business represented above -- this time of year represents all sorts of agricultural efforts and our family is involved in that too. Two examples of rain-produced crops are proof of this gold-mine:

If you look closely in the first shot there are some beautiful purple flowers that have taken root in a crack in the driveway and tn the second shot I think budding Oaks have sprouted . . .

Seriously though this was the week that Gail did start our own garden -- tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, some squash, zucchini, and a pumpkin . . . the zucchini and the pumpkin will probably take over and make the garden look ever so fruitful -- we are off to the store to add some green beans to the mix.

Auggie (our doggie) is standing guard as he has done in a fashion for several years. As a note of interest we got Auggie as a puppy in 1999 from the local shelter. 

Here is a picture of Auggie a few days after his twelfth birthday this week -- he is looking good!

Thinking about all this agriculture and "tilling the soil things", reminds me how close I came to be living on a farm. My father's dream when I was growing up was to own a farm. We lived in the Chicago suburbs. In the mid 50s I remember going on weekend trips with my family to Wisconsin in search of the perfect farm. My Mother had certain conditions (like indoor plumbing) while my father was interested in the other out buildings included on any possible farm. 

On one trip to the Augusta, Wisconsin area -- about 300 miles from Chicago -- my parents found a farm that fit the requirements of all of us. It had everything that my Father wanted, my Mother was satisfied with the house and my brother and I were excited about the horses and other animals included. But, if you have ever seen the movie "Sliding Doors" seemingly small things happen to alter events in your life that dramatically change the outcome -- in this case, my Father wanted to "think about it" for a day -- and in the meantime someone else purchased the property.  To my knowledge we never pursued the farm dream again.

Many, many of our ancestors were farmers and to some extent we keep part of what they did alive in our gardens and landscaping efforts. But there still are some from our "tree" that work the soil.

Another week has swept by quickly -- time for sliders again. See you in a few.

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