Vacation Consequences – The Glasgow Courier

Last week I had a mini-vacation: I flew to Florida for the purpose of bringing our two grandsons to Montana so they could have their own vacation. They’ll have fodder for the inevitable “what did you do over your summer vacation” reports for school, which starts Aug. 10!

Of course, one doesn’t simply fly to Florida and return to Montana the next day. One must also spend a few days recovering from the whole airport/flight experience. I was able to enjoy family time with our middle daughter and her family. I enjoyed several fabulous meals at non-Montana restaurants. I enjoyed a day at Volcano Bay. I even enjoyed all of the water slide rides, the boys insisted I join them on. I enjoyed seeing a couple of Florida downpours. There’s a tremendous amount of water in the air, so much so that it’s hard to even breathe when you’re outside in it.

I enjoyed seeing my daughter’s lanai, covered with all her plants. I participated in feeding her addiction by joining her in an outing to purchase even more plants. Her collection of greenery puts mine to shame. I’m hungry, though, that I don’t have so many that require daily watering. Her advantage is that those plants can stay outside all year. There is the occasional threat of frost, when she needs to bring the more fragile plants inside for a night. But those events are rare.

Our return trip was not without drama. We left Tampa about 4:15 in the afternoon, expecting to be in Billings by 8:45. When we were nearing Denver to get to our connecting flight to Billings, after over three hours in the air, we circled for an extra half hour. Denver was experiencing a huge lightning storm (we could look down at it), and there’s been a tornado in the area. Eventually, Denver closed the airport completely, so we were diverted to Omaha. The boys were full of questions that I couldn’t answer.

Once safely landed in Omaha, of course there wasn’t a gate available, so we were stuck on the plane. We sat on the tarmac until Omaha rounded up a full crew to refuel our plane. By then, Denver airport had reopened, so we flew back to our actual destination. The flights between Denver and Omaha were a bit more than an hour each. Luckily, outgoing flights from Denver were also delayed so we were able to make our connection. Naturally, by then the original crew had timed out so a new crew had to be brought in. Obviously, our arrival in Billings was very late. We hardly got our money’s worth from the hotel.

Now that it’s too late to make that story short, I’ll just go on with the vacation consequences. The garden exploded while I was away. There were tons (slight exaggeration) of raspberries that needed picking. One grandson loves them, the other claimed he doesn’t. That one quickly discovered that when you pick your own and they’re fresh and sun-warmed, they’re pretty darned good. (They both covered their French toast with powdered sugar and fresh berries. We had breakfast for lunch.)

There are lots of tomatoes on the vines, the earliest I can remember having so many formed. Perhaps I’d been smothering them by leaving the walls of water on so long in the past? I didn’t bother with them this year because it was so late before I planted any. But it’s probably due to all the rain we’ve had, which is the reason Dennis offered.

The beans are in full bloom. The birds took advantage of my absence and have been decimating the peas. I’ve installed netting over those rows and hope to get some in a few days. I found one eggplant ready. The peppers also have lots of fruit forming. The few canes of corn are three times as tall as they’d been. The onions are all too big to eat as green onions, but still need thinning. It’s a good thing we like mid-sized ones sautéed in butter. I had to dust the cabbages and broccoli. The cabbage moths are out in full force. All the radishes had bolted so got pulled. So did a lot of the leaf lettuces. I’ll cut those and hope they reform quickly.

The dill, cilantro, moon flowers, love-lies-bleeding (cockscomb), husk cherries (prairie gooseberries), and other flowers I never got around to transplanting into formal rows have turned the garden into a jungle. The basil is forming flowers that need to be pinched off. So much work is needed to get it back into shape. But I love it looking so lush. It’s been hot enough that all the yard and the garden is starting to look a bit parched. I’m really hungry and I have that drip system in the garden so I can water it at night and use the sprinkler in the daylight hours.

So, back to the raspberry picking I go…

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