Yesterday began with one small(ish) plan. I wanted to go visit my Amish friend, Eunice. It was her birthday and I have not seen her in a couple of months, so this was important to me.
Since I wanted to go see Eunice, the kids thought they might like to go visit friends in Penn Yan. The Yates County Fair is going on now, and since it is pretty small, the kids thought it might be fun. As we were getting ready to go, Mark called the Ford garage to see how they were coming along with the Explorer.
The service manager said the Explorer was done. We could pick it up! We left the house at about noon and drove to Geneva. I was so anxious to get that vehicle back. We arrived at the garage and got our paperwork and paid the bill. We began making our way to Penn Yan when Michelle and I noticed a terrible smell. We pulled over and smoke poured out the back end of the vehicle.
Mark was in front of me driving the truck, so after I told him the problem, he called the garage. They asked us to drive back. I took it slow and back to the garage I drove. Mark and the kids sat in the truck while I went in to see what was up. The mechanic took the Explorer in right away and off came the wheels! He worked on it, then lowered it off the lift. He backed it up to take it for a test drive, but there was a lot of noise that could be heard. He immediately pulled it back onto the lift.
I sat outside on a bench in the shade. There was a terrific breeze blowing directly through the garage where doors were open on each end. The bench sat out of the way of the doors at one end and it was so comfortable!
As I sat, I could watch the mechanic working. Suddenly, a little bird flew right up to me! I couldn’t help but get the camera out!
I could see this was an immature Robin. The little bird let me get close, but it was obvious it was frightened. I watched as it tried to hide behind a trash can. Then it took off….right into the entrance way to the garage. Realizing the wee bird was right in harm’s way, I shooed it back outside. The bird could fly, but not strongly yet. It landed back over by the bench once again.
This scene played out three more times. Each time the little bird flew into the garage, I quickly got up and herded it back outside. Then, one last time, the little thing flew in deeply inside the garage. Knowing I was not about to go inside, I gave up and figured there was nothing I could do to help this bird.
As I was sitting and waiting, the service manager came out to tell me that the Explorer was going to need new calipers on the rear brakes. The good news was, since we had already dropped a considerable amount of money getting the vehicle repaired, (and the price we paid was far less than any other Ford garage…or maybe *any* garage!) they were going to cover the cost! Wow. The deal was, we would have to wait for parts.
It was getting later and later. The kids had made plans to meet their friends at the fair, but Mark refused to drive off to Penn Yan, just in case anything should happen and the work couldn’t be completed on the Explorer. It was already nearing four o’clock. Mark and the kids waited in the truck…I waited on the bench.
As the mechanic was finishing up the job at nearly five o’clock, I spotted the wee bird sitting on top of a fabric Michelin Tire sign hanging just inside the garage entrance. Well, at least the little bird was in a safe place! Then I thought about the fact that the garage was going to close at five. That little bird would be trapped inside the garage…that would not be a good thing!
The mechanic backed he Explorer up and took it for a test ride. (During the time he was waiting for parts to arrive, he actually replaced parts Mark had decided to replace himself to cut down on the cost! ) Finally, the Explorer was done. Ready to go. But, I wasn’t.
As the mechanic was about to walk away, I asked if he might do me a favor and rescue the little bird. When I went over to talk to Mark just before the job was done, I had spotted a Robin up on a telephone line and I was pretty sure she was the baby bird’s mom. The mechanic (decked out with tatooes and looking pretty “Butch”) looked at me and said he has a fear of birds diving down at him!
Feeling compassion overwhelming me, I went over to the sign. Cupping my hands gently around the now squawking furiously little bird’s body, I took him outside and set him down on the grass. The bird that was perched on the lines swooped around me, making sure I knew she was present. I then retreated, totally satisfied that mother and baby bird were reunited. There was no more intervention on my behalf…the baby bird would have to rely solely upon the mother bird from that point.
And, I felt good. Like I had done a mitzvah (good deed) for the day!
We drove right on down to Penn Yan, the kids arriving two hours later than they had planned. They met their friends at the entrance gate, then we took off. I had parked the Explorer in a plaza parking lot. The vehicle has no inspection sticker because it had expired and the garage is required, by law, to remove outdated inspection stickers.
Of course (indeed!) just before taking the Explorer in initially, the “Service Engine Soon” light came on, which is the equivalent of a “check engine” light. A sensor had to read the code of the problem and this was taken care of at the garage…however, we need to complete some driving cycles to now eliminate the light so the vehicle can (finally!) be inspected.
Mark asked if I still wanted to go see Eunice. It was after six, but I said yes. I really wanted to surprise her on her birthday! I had bought her two of her favorite things….raw almonds and a chunck of sharp cheddar cheese. Susanna’s birthday is the 17th, so I got her a wooden stacking toy. Chris has a birthday the 31st, so I got him a tiny little basball glove and ball.
We arrived at Eunice and Noah’s shortly after seven. Eunice was at home with Susanna and Noah was working in the fields with Chris. I visited with Eunice and we talked and laughed. She was shocked I had remembered her birthday! As soon as little Chris came back with his dad, Eunice showed him the baseball glove. He loved it! He carried it all around and put in on and off his hand. He will be three and when he removed his straw hat (just like Dad’s) I couldn’t believe his non-Amish haircut! Seems the little fellow took Eunice’s sewing scissors and gave himself a new style! Eunice laughed so hard as she told me the story!
Eunice asked if I wanted to see the tomatoes in the hothouse. We walked on down and when she opened the door, I could not believe my eyes!
Noah made a barrel stove to heat the house, but Eunice said they only had to use it one night. There are about four hundred tomato plants in this house! I asked Eunice if Noah had ever grown produce before, and she said no. She said he had pruned the tomato plants and when she asked him how he knew to do it, he told her he “just knew”. The results are unlike anything I have ever seen before…
These tomatoes are supposed to weigh in at about eight ounces…as you can see (I placed my hand next to the tomato to give an idea of the size) they are huge!
AND, very abundant!
I have never seen so many tomatoes!
Noah had originally planned to sell produce to Wegman’s, but somehow, it didn’t work out. In the meantime, they plan to try to sell at a stand down in Bath.
We left the farm at probably eight-thirty, after Eunice went up to the garden and filled a shopping bag with Swiss Chard and Roamine lettuce for us. As we drove down the driveway, little Chris waved, his new baseball glove in hand! That made me feel so good!
We picked the kids up in Penn Yan at ten and arrived home at eleven.
What a day. I am now planning on a very quiet, very uneventful day. That is my plan. And, I am sticking to it!