The waving wheat, it sure smells sweet

Well, I had hoped to have a pictorial daily update for you over the last week, and woe to the technology challenge, I just couldn’t make it happen.  And I figured since I was on vacation, the blog would be too.  As I mentioned, we were west of Spokane at my mother and step dad Earl’s wheat farm all week. I have some photos in the next post, but here are some I missed. 


The sun – there is no word for the color of the sun – harvest sun? As it rises or sets over the wheat it is this orange, red, golden color through the haze of smoke and dust.  It is spectacular, and even if I took a picture, you wouldn’t see it right. 


The wheat – I was wrong in my pre-vacation post when I said the shush, shush, shush was the sound of the paper deposit slips.  That sound is the wheat.  It makes this wonderful sound as the breeze rustles it, a kind of breathing wave that is so peaceful.  The fields of wheat, rolling away, with layers on increasingly distant hills, of different grains, different harvests are beautiful to look at, interrupted only by the occasional farmhouse with tree windbreak, or the periodic failing barn that has long been abandoned.  It feels very old, the wheat, as if this isn’t just THIS wheat, but all the wheat, the voices of the people who grow the wheat, and have always grown the wheat.  It is pretty easy to imagine how these wheat people have lived for hundreds of years.  We went by the cemetery, and it was, appropriately, in the middle of acres and acres of wheat fields.  This grain was their life, and even in death, it whispers to them.  Shush, shush, shush.


The deer – One of our first nights the deer came through the wheat, from the wooded canyon on the edge of Earl’s land, crossing over to the fallow field across the dirt road.  It was a sight – the wheat is so tall that all you see is a sliver of the broad backs, and the eight sets of antlers moving across the field.  The next day you can see where they crossed the road – this mysteriously narrow path through the wheat meets the road and you just want to walk back through and see what is out there (except when Earl mentions the snakes…).


The neighbors – Earl’s brother is a unique character.  And while I have some shots of the equipment on his farm, there were many more I wished I could have taken – he has every vehicle he has ever driven on property – Cadillac, farm truck, combine, tractor.  When the die, they die.  He parks them somewhere, and leaves them there.  Its like a grand scale, century long, vehicular art project.  And in its strange way, it is fascinating to look at.  Just as fascinating is his wife, Evelyn, a lovely woman who has a wonderful garden amidst the art project, with dogwood and hollyhocks, cilantro, tomatoes, beans and carrots. 


The company – We had a great time with Mom and Earl.  They took good care of us and were entertaining in a wonderful, wheat farm, Washington state, kind of way.  The girls caught the love of stitching from Mom, and Andra sewed until she fell asleep, sneaking embroidery thread into her room, and walked out in the morning asking for more thread.  We unpacked the dollhouse my family built together when I was little, we stood in the garden and ate peas, we picked lavender at a lavender farm, we went to rose gardens and museums, made homemade ice cream, picked apples off a monstrosity of a tree and made homemade applesauce.  It was all good.  Very, very good.

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