Potatoes in the dark

October 20, 2009

[Sidenote: ever since the whole Dan Quayle spelling thing, I still am never sure how to pluralize ‘potatoes’. Firefox is telling me to put the ‘e’ in, so it goes in for now.]

[Side-sidenote: the Dan Quayle thing is now 17 years ago]

A Friday evening or two ago, my wife and I were sitting watching a movie, and the phone rang. Thanks to caller ID, I knew it is our neighbor down the road, who actually is the former owner of our house. (That little bit of info has no relevance here, but it may come up in the future.)
She started the conversation in a way I never heard would have expected.

“Oh, hi, my grandson is here with 600 pounds of potatoes. Do yous guys want some?”

We replied, sure, we’ll take some free potatoes, and we grabbed some plastic bags and our coats and headed down the road. This was during some rather cold fall weather, and we could see our breath in the glow of my wife’s headlamp. The sky somehow seems blacker when it’s cold, and the stars were beautiful. A walk in the dark was a great thing, potatoes or not. Sure enough, about the quarter-mile down the road to our neighbor’s house, we could see the outline of a semi.

We walked up, the scent of diesel in the air, our neighbor’s grandson (who is probably our age) comes out and turns the big crank on the bottom of the trailer, and out to the ground fall lots of potatoes. Flashlights flashed and we load up our plastic bags, and a few more neighbors arrive with enormous gunny sacks. They load up much more than our 10 pounds or so. We started to walk back, but our neighbors noted my wife’s 8.5 months of pregnancy and offered their wheelbarrow.

As we loaded up our full wheelbarrow, our neighbor smiled and cackled, “Country livin’ at it’s finest, eh?”

I couldn’t agree more.

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