The other morning, Amy and I were having breakfast and talking about the volcano in Iceland that's messing up air travel to Europe. Amy has plans to go to Amsterdam with my mother and son this Monday, but the ash cloud may interfere. I would have gone on this trip, but working for the census got in the way. At any rate, I offered Amy some suggestions on where to spend her vacation should trans-Atlantic travel be out of the question.
One brilliant idea that came to me was, if Amsterdam, the Netherlands is not possible, maybe a trip to Amsterdam, New York would be a fine alternative. Instead of Dutch canals, she could go for a boat ride on the Erie Canal. Instead of the Rijksmuseum, she could visit the state museum in Albany. While I explored the many similarities between the two Amsterdams, Amy bemoaned her fate and muttered unfriendly suggestions to me.
I thought it was all pretty amusing until I bit a piece of toast and my mouth flooded with a foul and familiar taste. Yes, another lady bug got chomped. I raced to the sink and spat while Amy reminded me that taking joy at the misery of others can work both ways.
Out in the garden, spinach and lettuce are growing rapidly under their gauzy white tents. The tents admit rain and light while providing a few degrees of warmth and protection from the wind. I'm waiting for a dry spell so the rest of the garden can dry out a bit and I can rototill it. I've got seed potatoes and onion seedlings waiting to go in the ground, along with a couple of different varieties of leek. I'm happy that it's been relatively cool of late, because it keeps the daffodils and forsythia looking nice longer.
This spring we are about two weeks ahead of where we'd normally be, which is a serious problem for apple growers. The trees may bud out early and then get zapped by a frost. Apples were a major crop in the Reber area years ago, when every farmer had a small orchard primarily for the production of hard cider, the favored drink for much of our nation's history. A prolonged and intense winter during World War I killed most of the trees here, and the industry never came back.
My sources tell me the Whallonsburg Grange is looking spiffy with all of its new paint. We owe the volunteers and mastermind Ted Cornell a big thanks for all of their work on this most worthy and useful project.