Raindrops and Rainbows
Rush Ranch – Eastern Oregon
Wx: 45F, raining, wind
They fall. First one, then another. My husband points them out to me as we drive by. I turn my face away. I can’t look. The neighbor is pulling out his cherry orchard. 15 acres this year – maybe more next. With each fallen tree, my heart sinks lower. For years we have marveled at the beauty of a cherry orchard in full bloom. Playful chickadees have darted within the clouds of white and pink spring buds. A small semblance of heaven.
But the new laws are in place this year to protect migrant crop workers, and the economy is bad for fruit sellers. Our neighbors have hired the same family of workers for two generations. They are provided with a clean and attractive bunkhouse for their two-week stay. It has a restroom, showers, bunk beds, etc. Picnic tables outside provide a place for playing cards or reading. Last year I baked cookies for them. Sometimes they come to our church. But the new laws state that each individual family must have their own, separate housing. I don’t make a judgment call on that law – I wish everyone had the opportunity to have everything they require. In my neighbor’s case, they just don’t have the funds to build new bunkhouses for individual families. Along with that mandatory law, the market for Bing cherries has fallen considerably. The heartbreaking decision was made to pull down the trees. A little bit of my heart falls down with them. Sigh.
Be well, my friend. Hug the ones you love.