I let the 16 year old drive to his Confirmation class and back. He needs to rack up 50 hours of driving before he can try for his license. It was pouring (of course) when we were driving down, so I had a few ballistic mom events (along the "brake, Brake, BRAAAAKE!" lines) on the way down, but he was just about perfect on the way home, thankfully for my nerves.
I even let him drive down the driveway without me, because I spied old Henry, the man who keeps his cows across the street. Our friendship has been cultivated over the past 15 years as I took my walks (pre-farm, pushing various baby strollers and pregnant a lot) and he visited his cows. I haven't seen him in a long time, though, although I have been thinking about him.
It was nice to have a quick visit. He and his grandson were fixing up his chute and small pen in preparation for hauling off his wean-offs to the feed lot up in Waimea. He says they are getting over 90 cents a lb! I wish I had a bit more land to run some beef cows on. When he pulls his calves, I always feel so sad for the mommas, calling for their babies all night long.
Henry has been promising to come down my driveway and see my place for a decade and a half. Today, he apologized, saying he always feels a bit shame to come unannounced. I told him no worries, but do come sometime. So he says he'll bring me some lau lau when he has them made (pork, butterfish, and taro leaves, wrapped in ti leaves and steamed - the closest thing to heaven to come out of an imu, if you ask me). We'll see, but it was sure nice to catch up and talk story a bit.
Sometimes, I forget that there are some awfully nice people in the world. A few days ago, my oldest walked to the store where she works, and noticed a number of police cars at the park nearby. Someone had been stabbed - it was in the middle of the day! It makes you wonder about the crazy people who live out here in Puna. And then there is a visit with Henry and his polite and helpful grown grandson to remind you that people are mostly good and kind.