Friday, October 18, 2013

"The Olde Farm"

Yesterday we got a pretty amusing piece of mail:  an envelope addressed to "The Olde Farm," our street (but no number), Bristol, TN.  Off to one side a postal employee had written our house number and a question mark.  There's a golf club about ten miles farther down our road called The Olde Farm, and I'll send this mail on to them, but the golf club is in Bristol, Virginia, not Bristol, Tennessee.  My town straddles the state line.  So I can see how the post office got confused.

I also think it's funny that they sent the mail to me.  We live on what lots of locals still call The Old Copenhaver Farm.  (It's how you give directions when you're from around here:  "You know the Old Copenhaver Farm?  Ok, turn left there, then go down to the street where the old Cozy-Dozy used to be--" I'm not kidding.  If you don't know where the old stuff used to be, you can't drive anywhere in Bristol.)  Anyhow, the Old Copenhaver Farm once comprised several hundred acres and a farmhouse from the 1800s.  My dear friends and next-door neighbors have the house and 10 acres around it; we have 50 acres that surround them.  The rest was sold off generations back.  Our land had been inherited by 3 Copenhaver siblings; the two sisters lived in other states, but the brother lived here until 2 months ago, when he moved to Atlanta.  I'm sorry about that; I didn't know him well, but his wife worked at Faith in Action with me, and I miss her.

Someone once asked me what we raised on our farm.  At the time I said children.  Now, to be truthful, I would have to say fruit flies and black widow spiders.  It's driving me beserk.

I do not know where the fruit flies are breeding.  I've cleaned out the pantry.  I've washed the fruit bowl, which anyway only contains green bananas.  All around the house we've got fruit fly traps, which is to say open bottles of wine that had gone off.  I usually save these to use as vinegar, but my husband has converted them all to fruit fly traps.  They are working, in that they're collecting fruit flies.  There just always seem to be more flies still flying.

If any of you have suggestions, please, enlighten me.  We're really sick of fruit flies.

The black widow spiders breed beneath my water troughs.  Black widows look like shiny black marbles, only with 8 legs and that distinctive red hourglass marking.  (For those of you who don't think I can identify a black widow, such as my husband, I invite you to upend the troughs and see for yourself.)  They creep me out.  Supposedly if I caught them in jars I could sell them to the local pet store, but to do that I would have to catch them in jars.  Uh, no.  I step on them with my hard high boots whenever possible.  It doesn't do any good.  There are always more.

Maybe the secret is to let the spiders into the house to eat the fruit flies.  Then I can step on the spiders with my hard high boots, and then we can go back to raising only children here, blissfully bug-free.