Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Father John and the Giant Zucchini Harvest

 We had an old family friend visiting us and helping with the harvest this past week on the farm.

Our old college friend John towers over most folks at 6.5 feet. Born and bred in Montana, he is now a newly ordained Dominican priest for the Western Province. We told the little ones that giants still do exist here and there, though over time their size has shrunk to under 9 ft in most cases…and when he arrived, he did not disappoint!

We stopped at the County Fairgrounds to pick up our exhibits, ribbons, and premium checks. Father John trailed behind me helping me carry off our awards and vases and items, his arms filled with needlework, artwork, a jar of bread and butter pickles…I soon realized we were attracting some attention. It’s hard to miss a grinning 6.5 ft Dominican brother in a bright and shining bond white habit.

He told us how one time he was mistaken for a member of the Illuminati. But the observer called out “Oh wait! No! He can’t be Illuminati! He’s too happy!”

Dominicans have O.P. after their name- for “Order of Preachers”. Their work is to preach- and to diligently study in preparation for doing so….hence, the absence of a work habit.

One day one we had him harvesting zuchinni with us in the field. Shane and the older girls had been up in the BWCA the week before, and we missed a day of harvesting the summer squash. In the interim some of them had expanded to the size of small dogs. “Just go and throw those monstrosities to the pigs!” I told him. It had rained in the night and the hogs were enjoying sunbathing in their little mushes of mud and muck. I looked over to see Father John lobbing squashes to the happy and salivating porcine torpedoes eagerly awaiting their mid-day feast. Each one landed with a delicious THUD and THWUCK, hitting the ground with truly impressive power. 

Father turned back to us grinning, his duty discharged, but his snow white habit looking as if he was riddled with holes.

“Don’t worry! This is why we carry Tide pens!” He assured us.

Farming has a way of changing people. It can transform some folks in the matter of one afternoon. Still. I’d hate for him to be mistaken for a Holstein. “There’s no way he’s a Holstein!” they’d shout, “He’s too happy!”

1 comment:

  1. Such Joy. Thank you for growing and sharing this abundance.