Cal is back in the travel trailer. He needs his space and I do too. His brooding intensity can be hard to take sometimes. Lily signed the divorce papers so fast Cal’s lawyer couldn’t believe it. And on top of that they’re paying Cal’s legal fees as long as he promises not to fight when it gets finalized. Fat chance of that at this point, especially since Trish let it slip that she’s seen Lily out with Percival Perfect a couple of times in public. It will be six months before the divorce is granted even uncontested, the law in Florida is funny that way to give both parties a chance to think things over.
When Cal isn’t at work he is doing projects around here. He still seems to be insistent that we continue with our plans as if nothing has happened to interrupt them. If I try and bring it up, ask him to take some time, he just looks at me and says, “Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?”
As for me, Dorrie’s renewed friendship has opened some doors. The new federal regulations have cut into all of the produce stands and u-pick farms. Most say they won’t replant, they’ll let their fields go fallow if the government is going to be like that. Most people don’t realize how bad it is going to get next year. But Dorrie’s family does and I do. Now as soon as they hear of a field opening we are first in line. Here in June I’m picking pole beans and bush beans and lots of tropical fruit both in our yard and anywhere I hear someone has a tree or bush they want cleaned off to make the inspectors go away.
I also have an advantage over Dorrie who is pale and blonde … I can pass amongst the migrant workers and hear stories of places that might have work to offer. I don’t do it for pay but for the food that some workers are willing to take as part of their wage … the seconds like torn beans, bruised melons, fruit so ugly or misshapen it will never make it to market. I also hear when shipments are due to the few remaining produce stations that sell to the restaurants, grocery stores, and hotels in Tampa.
It costs money to travel to Tampa but I usually make a day of it and stop in to see Trish and Mack. But that’s over with as of this week. Mack is getting Trish out of Tampa – a place where serious crime is on the rise – and going to work in his father’s law firm up in Baker County. It also puts them closer to Mack’s kids from his first marriage and the two boys really need their father right now. Trish’s only regret is leaving the paid off house but they’ve placed it with a property management company and it will be here if they change their mind at some point in the future.
Today I came back from Tampa with a car load of melons and corn and squash. Paying for everything in cash keeps the questions to a minimum. Speaking Spanish doesn’t hurt either. People seem to assume I’m a maid or cook for a wealthy family. I let ‘em think what they want. I’m not intentionally mysterious but they’ve learned that I won’t answer pointed questions.
I stopped by the cemetery again. I don’t do it often, in fact rarely, but I’d heard there’d been some desecrations and I had to know if Daniel and his parents had been affected. No thank goodness but there was destruction all around their plots as people ripped out any copper or other metal for recycling. I’m glad now that Trish convinced us all just to go with small stones that lay flat with the ground. I think the modest, unassuming memorials are invisible to the sacrilegious thieves.
Trish told me that Edgewater has been hit three times by metal and Freon thieves. This last time the kitchen was almost completely destroyed before the thieves were caught and stopped. It was an inside job. Visiting youth act like they’ve been invited, are given warm welcomes, then get to know the church’s lay out from the inside. They also learn what security features are there and what the fastest way is out of the building. It’s shameful.
I stopped by the church office but Pastor was in a meeting with some insurance adjustors so I just left him a message and told him I’d be praying for him. I’ve been to church a few times with Dorrie but it was just as hard as I feared it would be to find my footing amongst all the old acquaintances.
I have a line on a shipment of unshelled, raw peanuts that is supposed to be coming into town day after tomorrow. That will give me a day to take care of what is down in the kitchen now. That’s not enough time to get it all finished but it will at least get me started.
I always feel like I’m behind. I’m tired of being behind all the time. But then I look at Cal when he is staring at the river and it’s like he can see something at the edge of the horizon that I can’t see yet. It’s a very spooky feeling and one that makes me try to go a little faster.