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Friday, January 31, 2014

IT DON’T MATTER chapter 24 Planting a Vineyard

Grape Vineyard
courtesy free clip art
Lucia had moved into the maid’s room shortly after we hired her and has become a member of the family.  The kids have taken to her and are calling Auntie Lucia.

If it hadn’t been for her caring for us, life would have been different especially for Nan who had come to depend upon her greatly.

Bessie asked her once, “Where did you come from?”

Lucia said, “From a long distance away.  My husband and I were from Italy, which is another country and we were going to grow grapes.  I still have some seeds if you would like to see them.”

Bessie said, “Maybe later, but could we plant some of them and see if they would grow?”

Lucia said, “We could try.  I have several kinds of seeds.  We could try all of them. Ask your Papa if he would make us some boxes to plant the seeds in.  We should start them in a short time for it is the season.”

I asked Lucia how she wanted the boxes made and after she described them I had our new stable hand to make them.  

Lucia said she would send for several other varieties of grape seeds and try them all to see which ones were most adaptable for our climate and soils.

I had one of the share croppers to come over and break up a couple of acres and harrow it smooth.  I got some good soil for the boxes and left it up to Lucia and Bessie to take it from there.

I decided if the grapes didn’t make it I would use the area for a larger garden.

Grandpa laughed at Bessie for wanting to do some farming but made her a hoe that was right for her size.  He took her out to a weed patch and said she needed to learn the proper way to hoe weeds.

It wasn’t long before her tender hands were showing a blister and Grandpa said, “I think you better hire someone with tougher hands to do the cultivating and you just be the manager.”

She answered and said, “Thanks for the hoe grandpa.  It was real nice of you to teach me a lesson.

Bessie wasn’t smiling when she said it like she usually did when talking to him.  Right then and there he decided he wouldn’t do her like that anymore for he was making fun of her and she knew it.

Later he went over and asked Nan if she said anything about her experience and Nan said, “No, she didn’t mention it.”  

He knew he had done wrong and that it would take some time before he made it up to her.

After three months some of the seeds were turned into small vines and ready to be planted.  The whole family showed up and by noon they were in the ground and watered.

Lucia said, “There probably wouldn’t be any grapes the first year but the plants would grow strong and be ready to produce the next year.”

They had eight varieties but most were for juice and wine.  

Before the year was out Grandpa had pretty well made up with Bessie.

He helped with the weeding and cultivating and lent a hand with the watering system.  

I had to admit that with Auntie Lucia’s help my little girl was beginning to show her first signs of being a woman.  It was mostly in her demeanor for it was too early for the physical change to be taking place.  

All the time the grape stuff was taking place something Psychological was taking place in Nan.

She was just a couple months away from the birthing to take place.  I wasn’t being very passionate due to the situation and Nan was easily irritated.

She hadn’t ever been short like that when carrying Mark, so I was at a loss.

I couldn’t think of anyone I felt at ease talking to about it.  Finally I thought I would talk to the doctor using the pretence of wanting to know how she was getting along.

It didn’t take him long before he realized there was something else going on. He just came out and asked me why I was here.

I stumbled around till he stopped me and after detailing what he thought the problem probably was I said, “You nailed it.”

He said it wasn’t uncommon for this to happen for after having what was to be the forth child there can be the feeling that all she was good for was having kids.  She needed to be noticed as a person and paid attention to.

When I left the office I had all the information I needed to solve the problem.  It only took a day or two before Nan was all smiles again except for the occasionally kicking and stretching that was going on.

The doctor said that the things he told me should be remembered after the baby was born and used accordingly.  

There were some other things going on in our daily life for we were short of rain this year and it was going to affect the crops and that was bad news for the sharecroppers.

My main share cropper and manager over the others suggested we bring out the well digging machine and start digging wells. 

Since we still had breezes blowing he suggested allowing the farm hands to run it and all we would need was fuel, casings and a windmill for each well.

I quickly agreed to his plan and had Sammie order in all the supplies we needed.  It cost us as much as we were going to make this year to set everything up, but from now on we would have enough water in a dry year.

Another thing we discovered was by making sure the crops always had water it increased the yield per acre.

The family was involved in many enterprises and for the most part we were all still young.  The oldest members had children who were approaching their late teens and were kicking up a little dust but not so much as to embarrass the family.

One of the investments was the farms that had sharecroppers on them.  I tried to create an atmosphere where they felt like a family and where they cared how each other was doing.

I set out to show when one suffered a loss or there was sickness I would pitch in and help them and they began to realize that they weren’t alone and they should follow my example.

It doesn’t always happen when a neighbor falls on hard times that neighbors rush in and take up the slack.  Sometimes the opposite is true where they try to take advantage of one who faces hard times.

The out growth of my effort was the whole of them worked to help each other be successful and were able to put aside all the little jealousies that could only harm all of them.

I put aside a certain amount of each year’s earnings in case one of them needed some help and often some of it was needed.  It was the same with my immediate family.

As I mentioned before everyone bought into this idea of first being loyal to the family as a whole.  We were loyal to Pa and Ma and then to one another, not taking advantage in any way.  We faced a problem together. 

Shame or no shame
courtesy free clip art

As we all have families now we wanted to instill the same values in the offspring, but it is going to be an almost impossible task for times are changing.

Among my sibs there are no illegitimate children but all around us in both the city and the country it is happening more often.

This being one example of how things are changing and we can only hope that we can instill our values in Ma and Pa’s grandchildren.

While some are saying “It Don’t Matter” but I’m here to say - - - It do.”


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