Saturday, May 23, 2009

It was rather remarkable to us, that the hardwood trees that cover this part of Virginia stood bare during early Spring, as if they were dead and would never leaf out again, while flowers and smaller trees, like the Dogwood and others were showing a barrage of blossoms and new growth. But, then all of a sudden as April turned to May, the barren branches of all this forest of hardwoods that surround each village and town boomed forth their greenery! What looked totally lifeless one day, or so it seemed to us desert dwellers, appeared to leaf out overnight. It really is wonderful to see!

Each week, usually on Thursday, we drive down to the community of Goodview, to the shores of Smith Mountain Lake, a visit Merle and Marianna Dutton. As we drive through the rural countryside we see that the first hay crop is being harvested. In this part of the country and all through the Midwest as well, these huge rolled bails seem to be the prefered way of preserving the hay crop. The harvesting machinge wraps each of thess rolls with numerous wraps of binder twine or something like it. These bails with sit in the fields for many days before specialized equipment is finally used to pick these huge bails up and load them on a truck or trailer. We see where some farmers wrap their bails in some type of plasitc covering to protect them from the elements, but mostly they remain as you see them in this picture.
Sometimes missionary work is accomplished by etertaining the children so their mother can visit with your companion without having to worry about what they may be up to in the next room. This was true this past week as Nicholas, 2 yrs, and young brother Liam, 1 yr, accepted a ride in the cart, pulled by Elder Chapman on the riding lawnmower. We did this three different days when the mother had no one to leave the children with. They were pretty excited about it the first day, riding up and down the lane and around the large grounds where we live. But on the 3rd day, no more excitement. As you can see, little Liam has decided to take a snooze. They were good boys and we got on well. Nicholas (in the red shirt) especially liked it when we would get the sack of birdseed and he could help fill the bird feeders in the backyard. We will miss them and their mother. They were only here in Bedford for one week and returned home to Fredericksburg on Tuesday.