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Jim and Starr Mitchell and Patrick O’Donnell are breathing a sigh of relief. They have gotten all the last loads of winter firewood out of the mountains. Now Jim and Pat will split it and stack it, or in Pat’s case, haul it home and stack it there for his use.

Starr has two dehydrators going. Their garden has been bountiful this year. She has also started cooking the pie pumpkins. There were 25 good ones this year. The garden has also produced lots of peppers to string and hang.

Patrick came over on Sunday and the threesome barbecued beef and turkey burgers.

Jim and Starr visited good friends Frank and Lisa in a long-overdue get together. Starr and Lisa prepared the meal. It was delicious, and good conversation just added to it.

The Zane Wheatleys didn’t do anything on Labor Day. The girls reported loving starting school. Everly, Georgia, Ruby and Kate had half days to begin. It was very nice. This will continue for two weeks in the hope that all will get used to wearing their masks, and getting back into the swing of things. The Wheatley girls didn’t complain about wearing their masks, according to Laura. They are eager to do their homework when it is assigned. Georgia says she missed her homework folder. This makes her complain a little bit.

Everly wanted to be on the student council. She was told she would have to apply, and also write an essay. She did these things, and was accepted. The council has a meeting for about half an hour before school. Kate loves being in kindergarten.

Piano and guitar lessons will start shortly for Georgia and Everly. Ruby is also old enough to learn to play an instrument. She wants to learn to play a violin. The girls will also begin taking more swimming lessons.

Nora Wheatley is now crawling “like a real baby” (not like a bear, now using her hands and feet instead of her hands and knees). She’s also going upstairs, but hasn’t figured out how to come back down yet.

The Wheatleys are still enjoying their new home. They did comment on the crazy winds over the weekend.

Orson and Jeannette Poulsen felt like Labor Day for them was “just another day.” They have picked all their peas and beans. Orson says his best crop this year came from some volunteer cantaloupe vines. They just came up from some discarded cantaloupe seeds, and got watered along with the rest of the garden. There are still three cantaloupes of good size, but not ripe enough to eat yet. The potatoes hopefully will be ready to dig up in a couple of weeks and will be stored for winter use. Orson’s brother comments the ripe cantaloupes will be eaten with ice cream.

Boyd and Kris Udy have been working around their home in town. They watched the All-American Futurity and Derby on television on Labor Day. A filly (a little girl horse) won the Futurity. She has been unbeaten so far in her races. “She is pretty cute and also very pretty,” Boyd says. He says she was out in front of the second-place horse quite a ways.

Winnie Richman stayed home most of the week. It didn’t seem like she had to — she just did. Wednesday, she got a haircut at Smart Styles at Walmart, and just moseyed around the store after that. Then she came home early, did chores and watering early, and watered her garden early.

Sunday, Winnie went to church. “I didn’t think I’d ever mind a day off,” she says, “but I have missed going to church since early spring. They even asked me to give the opening prayer!” The rest of Winnie’s Sunday was quiet.

Monday, Winnie completely forgot all about the All-American Futurity and Derby at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico. However, her day was enlivened by a late-afternoon visit from Aaron and April Richman. Aaron fed the cows on the hill two bales of hay, two bales to Winnie’s weaned calves, and one grass bale to her three bulls in their corral. April opened gates for Aaron and he shut them. Afterwards, Aaron and April stopped in for cold Mountain Dews and a Diet Pepsi for Winnie, and had a great exchange of ideas. When Aaron asked how Winnie’s tomato plants were doing, she had to admit the dirt needed to be loosened up to get more water. He immediately went and loosened the dirt up. “Thank you, Aaron and April,” Winnie says most gratefully.

With all the work done, Winnie was able to do some reading and go to bed early.

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