September 11, 2016
Sundays are generally a day of quiet uninterrupted industry and appreciation here at our wholesale nursery. But on this Sunday, I was approached early-on by my Wife, generally not a good sign, with a woman in tow. The woman had gotten her truck stuck in a not-so-close farm and walked to our place for rescue. I responded that we did not own a 4-wheel-drive vehicle, at least not a functioning one, that the rear tires on my aged two-wheel-drive pickup truck were effective in neither mud nor snow (although they advertised as such when I purchased them) and that our small tractors were similarly ineffectual. Ultimately, my Wife prevailed on me to help the woman and I agreed to drive over there in one of our ineffectual vehicles. She assured me her truck was stuck on the ‘Langshaw Farm’.
The Langshaws were legendary farmers and butchers in our community. They raised crops and cattle on Narrows Road which winds into Perry Village, where they also operated a local store and butcher shop. Fine upstanding local folks, I have carried an image since my earliest days, fair or not, of cattle slaughter and whining butcher saws whenever I am reminded of this name. While I have a fairly good understanding of where the Langshaw Field is located, it occurred to me after the woman had left, on foot, that she did not.
I took off in my 2-wheel-drive-truck and quickly circumnavigated the Langshaw Field. Lots of Losely plants but no stuck truck with a lady sitting in it. I headed East down Narrows Road and entered another field…this one formerly operated by Lake County Nursery (directly across from a large Losely Field, formerly owned by Kohankies?) After looping around, staying to the high ground, I found the lady’s truck with the front wheel buried in a ball-hole, all that remained of a long-lost extracted thuja. The drive looked fairly secure so I backed in, intending to drag her from the ball-hole with my truck and a chain. Immediately I became hopelessly mired in a hole of my own. Perhaps unsurprisingly. A half-hour of digging and ‘rocking’ produced no resolution.
I told the lady, who finally arrived on foot from our nursery, that I was going to walk back and leave my truck stuck until tomorrow. She kept insisting that she would wait. I kept insisting that I might not be back. I set off across muddy fields, a housing development and alongside busy North Ridge Road to arrive at our nursery, a half-hour later, mud-covered and malcontent. Over a cup of coffee, my Wife and I concluded that I should return to the ‘Langshaw Farm’, to do something with the lady, if the lady was still there.
I returned in my Wife’s Honda Element, which is what I should have taken in the first place, to find the lady waiting patiently for our rescue. I convinced her to let me give her a ride back to her house. Ironically, her house was adjacent to the actual ‘Langshaw Field’ with her ex-husband chopping wood in the front yard. A couple things occurred to me as I dropped her off. First, as a stranger, with his ex-wife in the cab, never interrupt an ex-husband, or anyone else for that matter, who is chopping wood. Second, this lady was clearly a ‘tar baby’…not in any racial sense…but on this day, at least, anyone who aspired to help this woman would become mired in the mud.
As we took her back to her house, she mentioned that she had previously been employed by Loselys and Ridge Manor. That explained a lot.
When I arrived at our nursery, my oldest Brother had shown up, as luck would have it, with a giant tractor that he happened to be transporting…with my sister in tow in a chase-vehicle… from our Antioch Farm to our original homestead on Hale Road. I thanked our lucky stars and followed him, along with my sister in the chase vehicle, to the stuck trucks. He quickly dragged mine to high ground. As we waited for the return of the stuck lady, he turned the giant tractor off.
In the silence that followed…with unanswered cell-phone inquiries…I eventually drove to the lady’s house, adjacent to the Langshaw Farm, interacted with the ex-husband and avoided his questions about who I was and how she became stuck…(honest..i don’t know this lady!)…and delivered her back to the scene so she could unlock the stuck truck and put it in neutral, which I am advised is necessary de rigueur to having your vehicle towed from a thuja-hole.
But the giant tractor would not re-start.
I wish I could convey a happy outcome to these travails. But when I left (and I have not returned), my brother was trying various means to restart the giant tractor (which had been purchased from Ridge Manor Nursery)…(everything around here has multiple nursery connections)…(perhaps utilizing a former Ridge Manor tractor to extract a former Ridge Manor employee created some black-hole-double-negative-duplication in the space-time-continuum of the universe and led to our problem?)…(at least, that’s how I explain the loss of my Sunday…)…the lady was standing in the mud next to her truck…and my sister was waiting to follow my brother home in an aging, but as then unstuck, chase-vehicle.
In a long-winded way, this is my story of how the dog ate my homework.
(this is all true…you can’t make this up…)
I wish I’d had more time for Sunday updates to our availability list.
As you’ll see, we have lots of great stuff to sell.