This week I started cleaning my barn. My second flood in a little over a year. For three months, the mud sat on the concrete, the tools and the supplies. On several occasions, help beckoned from my neighbors, friends and my beloved church but I turned down that help. At this current moment, the residue afflicted me with pain from the soles of my feet to the crown of my head. I took a piece of broken memory and scraped the mud from myself and sat among the ashes.
Predators, poachers, pollution. The outstanding nemeses at Sawmyl Synders Farm. When I first got chickens, the predators, in the form of raccoons, opossums, and coyotes, started showing up. So, I had to start putting them down. To the acrimony of the animal lovers. When deer season came one year, an interloper put a deer stand on my back property. He said it was a mistake. Also, he could see my house from the foot of the deer stand. He took it down. To the rancor neighbors who wanted me to prosecute.
This year before the flood, following the flood of last year, the mischievous creek turned black. And smelly. Dangerously black and smelly. It turns out that the City of Magnolia Wastewater Treatment plant stopped treating the sewer water. The started dumping effluent into the creek that ran out into Montgomery County that contained E Coli that was twelve times the permitted limit. The City lied about it. It took six months to get the water treated properly and for the smell in the air on the farm and around back to tolerable.
Last week I ran into one of the realtors involved in my purchase of this property now christened Sawmyl Synders Farm. Part cowboy/farmer, all gentleman, and subtly wheeler dealer, Wheeler sat down on a high stool alone in a Tomball restaurant catty-corner to my wife, my daughter and myself. In no way was he a cowboy in the jungle, “With his shrimpskin boots and his cheap Cheroots And his skin as white as paste”. Wheeler personifies the real deal. Fine and shiny leather boots, broad seasonal cowboy hat, pressed roped shirt and Wrangler jeans. I spoke to him briefly, mentioning the flood. How I recognized him is a wonder. He finished his lunch and spoke quietly to the young waitress before approaching our table. A good salesman always, he greeted us appropriately, gave me his card, and galloped back west.
I haven’t forgotten that I started this anecdote by telling you I was cleaning my twice flooded barn three months after the last flood. You might think I sat there in the dust dwelling on the fact that my dream dwelling had become a hovel of dust and mud and flood. You could surmise the disgust I held for the poacher that got away or the lying city officials who dumped crap on me through the spring, summer and into the fall. But you haven’t yet guessed that Wheeler the realtor paid for our expensive lunch that day last week in Tomball.