10 Apr Jill’s Spring

A year ago–before she discovered she was terminal with cancer–Jill attempted to mow our six acres at the start of spring. She loves riding her mower over the fields. She says she gets in a Zenlike mode out there, the weed down whirling around her, the swallows wheeling overhead to snatch the grasshoppers churned up by her noisy machine, the sweet green smell of cut grass. But, to her surprise, the work devastated her. She spent a week in bed. The pain in her bones made her scream at times. Soon we found out why.

Had Jill gone untreated, she’d be dead now. But rapid, serious medical treatment has reduced the cancer markers in her blood by half. These markers are still dangerously high–360 when they should be 35–but they’re down enough to give Jill more quality time (i.e., less pain). She’s walking without her cane, for instance. And, good god, she has insisted that she try mowing again. She has promised to go slow. Whereas in normal times, she’d knock out the chore in a day and a half, it now takes her a week. But it makes her oh-so-happy to be working on the farm again.



As much as we love our hands-on work, we are taking time to enjoy our travel trailer. We drove it to the shore a couple of weeks ago and had our best trip yet, very restful (don’t forget, I’m now on an anti-depressant) and a total delight, as the trailer is near completion (i.e, a working bathroom, comfortable beds, and sufficient storage). We even had time to stop at an auction and get a (cheap!) way-cool huge antique sign for our barn.

Spring abounds here, the forsythia waving high its shocking yellow arms, the magnolia in full pink bloom, the orchard trees blossoming. Bumble bees are searching out the first flowers and scouting for hive sites. The blue birds, starlings, and sparrows are competing for nesting in the houses I erected at the perimeter of the fields.

By the way, if you drive through the country you’ll see sprays of tiny purple flowers that you might mistake for heather. They are actually weeds: an invasive species called “Deadnettle.” And they are everywhere–in flowerbeds, under bushes, interlaced with grasses–little opportunists that take advantage of early spring chill to proliferate before the bigger weeds crowd them out. I guess there’s something to admire in that.

Jill has filled our sunroom foyer with seedlings, in anticipation of planting the garden soon, something we didn’t get to last year. So, having gotten our Covid vaccinations and feeling safer, even healthier, of late (my blood pressure is nearly down to normal), we are grateful and happy, with high hopes for a bountiful summer.


Jill’s Go-Fund-Me page