Sunday, March 25, 2007


The next day we broke open the irrigation, and I spent a good portion of the morning uncoiling the irrigation and laying it out with my brother. To say we were two city slickers in this world is no understatement. But we kept up a steady banter and worked through the morning, only laying out the front half of the vineyard. In the afternoon, after he had left, Ralph, our General Manager, came over and helped us with the rest. It turned out I hadn't ordered enough parts anyway, and the water pressure wouldn't have been enough to make it run right. I had screwed up.

(This is a prime example how not to set up irrigation)

By 3 pm my wife and one son, Dylan, had had it. But there was still irrigation to be done. My other son, Dawson, and I stayed behind. He and I watered each plant. I used a spray gun and he carried buckets of water. And then we both carried buckets to where the sprayer wouldn't reach. We watered from 3pm to 8pm until we had watered all 1,000 plants.

(Our high tech water station)

We developed an ad hoc watering system using hoses we had bought at the Dollar Store. We had about 1,500 feet of garden hose snaking all throughout the vineyard. Yet, there were still spots we could not reach. The hub of this system was an odd loking series of valves, which in the end, looke like Medusa's head. One look at it, and you grew frieghtened for us.

We needed to water each plant with no less than 1/2 a gallon of water. With the sprayer, we needed to stand there and count to about 20 slowly. And then move on to the next plant. Or we would fill up a bucket and pour water onto the just planted root. Dawson and I worked like dogs to the end, watering the last plants in the setting sun.

I took him to the hill that over looked the vineyard, and I told him that I hoped that one day he could look over this vineyard with his friends, his son someday, and tell them when he planted these vineyards. I told him we should be grateful to God for the good fortune that brought us here and have us this opportunity, and that we should be grateful for all the blessings in our lives.

In truth, I was disappoited. The vineyard looked like a monnscape, with a bunch of twigs sticking out of it. What the hell had I gotten myself into? What was I doing? If this didn't work, if I was still married afterwards, I would surely never hear the end of it.

We cleaned up outside, went to the bathroom and washed our faces and hands, and got in the car for the long ride back to New Jersey. I stopped at MacDonalds.
"What do you want?" asked him.
"Mommy said we can only have the happy meal."
"Today, you worked like a man. You can have whatever you want,” I said to him.
“Anything?” he asked with a smile.
He ordered a Big Mac combo, 2 apple pies, a soda and a milk shake. I ordered the same, and on the ride home, we both ate it all.
When we hit New Jersey, I got a call from Dominique checking on our whereabouts.
"Garden State Parkway."
"You have a voicemail on the house phone. Call the number to listen to it.” she said.
“Don't screw around, I'm tired. Just cut to the chase and tell me what it is,” I sid, somewhat tired.
“It's your office. I don't know what it is. Get it yourself,” she said just as brusquely.
“OK. We'll be home soon.”

I hung up with her, and called the message number and entered the code for our home number. There was only one message.

"Hi, Mr. DeVito. Your truck is fixed. You had a short in your battery cable Truck's fine. You can pick it up when you want. Also, some guy called, saw your truck in our lot, He said he found your mattress. Wants to know if you want the other half of your mattress back. Call me and let me know. Thanks.”


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