Chapter IX The Harvest

September 20, 2016

Chapter IX The Harvest

Mary spent the afternoon cleaning the house because Paul had told her that he and his boss would be coming after work with the new kitchen cabinet that he had been building for her in his spare time at the carpenter shop. He had spent several months working on it in the little spare time his boss gave him. Mary was waiting at the door at the time she expected them to arrive. Time passed and the pickup never came. Finally, at the time Paul usually arrived after walking home, Paul arrived. He said the pickup was broke down and they had to put it in the shop. Mary was disappointed because she had waited for several months for that new cabinet. Paul offered to stay home with the children so Mary could go to the local store and do some grocery shopping.

While Mary was at the store she overheard some of the people talking about the sugar cane harvest that would be starting in just a few days. One lady said “It’s a shame that the peons have to work for such a pitifully low wage for chopping cane.” The store keeper said “Some have started arriving from Paraguay to help with the harvest. This morning a man was here and asked me if I knew of a house that was for rent.”

The next morning Mary noticed that there were some people working at the abandoned house next door to them. It had been some years since it had been occupied. Some were cleaning out the debris inside. Part of the roof needed to be replaced. Mary thought “It’s going to take a lot of work to get that house fixed up to be lived in.” In the afternoon a truck delivered some sheets of roofing and men went to work on the roof. The next day they put a door on the house and, instead of putting glass in the windows, they boarded them up.

The following week a family arrived who had rented the house. When Paul got home from work that afternoon, he and Mary went over to introduce themselves and welcome them to the neighborhood. They learned that their last name was Diaz and that they were from Santiago del Estero. His name was Ralph and her name was Silvia. They had four children. He had come to work in the sugar cane harvest. They had little in the way of furniture. They didn’t have beds, but they did have mattresses so they could sleep on the floor. Silvia was preparing to cook something over a grill in the back yard.

Ralph said to Paul, “You know, we have a problem in that we don’t have a well here. The owner says that about two years ago he found that someone had stolen the pump and he didn’t have money to buy one yet.” Paul said, “Most likely he will have to pull the pipes out of the ground also because it’s very possible that neighbor kids have dropped rocks down the well. You are more than welcome to come over and get water from our pump until the owner gets your pump fixed.” Ralph thanked him for giving them that privilege.

Three days later Paul’s boss had his pickup fixed. He told Paul that he had to make a delivery in his neighborhood that afternoon, and that he could drop off the cabinet he had made at his house while he was out that way. Paul told him to just leave it behind the house. Mary was home when he came. She thanked him kindly. She went to work cleaning the house again in hopes that Paul could bring it into the kitchen and set it up when he got home. When Paul came home he went to their new neighbor’s house and asked Ralph if he could help him bring it in and put it in place. He also needed help to fasten a part of it on the wall. Ralph was glad to help him. After they finished Paul offered to pay him. Ralph said “No, as a neighbor it’s my pleasure and duty to help my neighbor when I can.” Mary quickly gathered up a few grocery items to send home with him.

In our next chapter we will learn more about the Parks family.

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