Much Todo about Everything

It’s a good thing that you can check out spelling on the Internet. I thought Shakespeare’s play was “Much Todo about Nothing” but it is “Much Ado about Nothing”. I have just been grinding away at my to-do lists so long, everything seems like either the past, present or future of a to-do list, including this blog, which is late though I did start it on time.

Pie Cherry Tree in Bloom
Pie Cherry Tree in Bloom

Basically it’s all about weather. Spring is taking its revenge on a long dreary winter – though definitely not as long and dreary here as in the mid-west. Everything is in bloom. The cherry and apricot trees, the pear and Service Berry trees, forsythia, tulips, daffodils… We are eating fresh again: asparagus, rhubarb, mushrooms… The grass is rising with each passing day and drowning us in a sea of green. I managed to revive the mower, the weed-whacker, the chain saw and the tiller. So the annual battle to manage the madness begins.

We also revived the VW Vanagan and have been out looking for morel mushrooms – with very minor luck. We are not the only ones who managed to get out and about. Daughter April, hubby, Tony and hilarious grandchild James Anthony came over on the first of April, two days before April’s birthday, 3 days before James’ first birthday and 3 weeks before Tony’s birthday. We had Mary Selecky over for dinner that night as another April baby (4/2/1947). So flowers are not the only thing that arrives in the spring.

James couldn’t stop laughing at how our dog, Gretchen chases her ball. And we couldn’t stop laughing along with him. ¬†Five days later, my cousin Chris Jones called and we caught up on a lot of family events – including the upcoming (2nd) wedding of his daughter Hannah. We are already planning on more visits from family this summer. But that is also the season of relentless gardening.

Cheryl's Garden
Cheryl’s Garden

Cheryl has half a garden growing under lights in the house. I have my multitude of grape cuttings sprouting on the office floor. The canes are all pruned on the grape vines but from the look of it, there will be a whole lot of bud, leaf and bunch pruning necessary to keep the vines on track. I have begun bringing grape plants to the Farmer’s Market in Colville – (but technically that is a May event). I also managed to bottle the first batch of Barreca Vineyards-labelled wine, French Rocks Red. These 3 cases were basically Marechal Foch, a French Hybrid named after Marshall Ferdinand Foch, whose military genius saved the Alsace-lorraine region where this wine was developed from German control during World Wars I and II. This is just the beginning of bottling the 2011 wine. I have been waiting 2 years to bottle it. I used to wait just one year but these are better after being aged. There is a lot more to do there.

Cuttings last month
Cuttings last month

It all has to take a backseat however to a slew of small contracts for mapping. Fire districts want current maps for the fire season and economic development people want current tourist maps for the travel season. My stocks of regular county atlases are depleted and I need to replace them with updated editions. Even the ordering system on my website seems to have broken and needs to be replaced. Then there are a hundred or so trail maps due to be finished by the end of the

New Grape Plants
New Grape Plants

summer. I shouldn’t even be writing this blog. After all, it doesn’t pay. Spring and summer work is inescapable.

So are death and taxes. April was IRS tax and land tax month. I miss having that money but the saddest loss was Dee Hokom, who died suddenly from a heart attack while out walking with a friend. She was not a close friend of ours, but was a great person and important to the community. Colville made the national news last year when a couple of young eighth grade boys decided they were going to kill a girl in their class at school because she was “annoying”. They were found out before their plan succeeded. Obviously they had very messed up lives. Dee was the attorney for one of them and fought to

Dee Hokom
Dee Hokom

give him a future. Read her obituary for a look at a strong and caring woman.

The father of a young friend of ours died while walking with her on a Florida beach. She is tortured by the fact that she didn’t bring her cell phone with her to call for help. You can’t really just shake these things off, but you can go on.

I’ve probably gone on long enough – in this blog anyway. April was not all fun and games, but it brought a great deal of beauty, and the end of keeping the home fires burning for the winter. I hope you all have a fruitful summer. And if you are even thinking about visiting, call way ahead of time because believe me… We have a lot to do.

The vines are budding
The vines are budding

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