Kelly and Dana are our closest neighbors, and Kelly is Gary's best friend. I am calling this post "The Gary and Kelly Show" because they are always up to something and it is often entertaining. They love sitting out in Gary's workshop, sharing confidences, talking politics, planning their next project. Gary starts up a fire in the woodstove and they are comfortable. There is a refrigerator and stereo there also. They help each other when needed, and watch each other's pets if one is travelling. They enjoy using Gary's shop for woodworking projects.
Kelly has deeply felt ideas about his impact on the planet. He planted 1100 Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine trees on 4 acres of his property. They will grow to a 20" diameter, but won't be ready for harvest for 30 years. In the meantime he feels good about making a difference in his carbon footprint.
Gary and Kelly believe in organic, sustainable gardening. They have a project going to breed red wiggler worms for composting, expecting to have enough to sell. The amount and quality of produce they grow is impressive. My mother says she hasn't had tomatoes like Gary's since she was in Oklahoma. It helps that Gary hosts two horses on his property, so they have the horse manure to add to the soil.
They have many stories. Like the time they were sitting on the deck, and they saw a tornado touch down and lift all the grass off a neighbor's field. Or once when Gary's tractor was stuck, Kelly got on his with a rope around his waist thinking he could pull it out. Instead he almost got cut in half.
Another time Gary was spotting Kelly up on a ladder as he was helping get Gary's tomato cages down from an upper shelf in the barn. The ladder shifted on the pea gravel, started tilting sidways, and Kelly started to fall, sideways. Gary put out his arms, caught him like a baby, and they both went down. Luckily the ground wasn't too hard, so no serious injuries. But Kelly said he got a massive blood blister from the overhang of his tummy getting squeezed on his belt by Gary's rescue. They laugh now about it.
Here they are, collaborating in the kitchen. They say they have probably cooked 500 meals together.
Kelly says it is good to see a photo of the two of them to decide, for sure, which one of them is taller.
And here is a photo of Kelly and Dana:
Living out in the country makes it extra important to be on good terms with neighbors. And we're so lucky to have Kelly and Dana.