Last week, Martha M. Ezzard won Best Memoir at the fiftieth annual Georgia Author of the Year Awards for her work The Second Bud. Today, we have an excerpt that will leave you craving the best wines that Georgia has to offer. Enjoy!
It is during our Norton vineyard’s second leaf when John discovers he can’t get the tractor between some of the rows. The reason, although Coach is loath to admit it, is that the two of them had relied on Coach’s alleged twelve-foot board to measure the distance between the rows when they were installing trellises. The problem was that Coach had two boards in the back of his pick-up—a twelve-foot board and a ten-foot board—and had pulled out the wrong one for spacing some of the rows. John finds it impossible to drive his tractor or sprayer between six of the Norton rows, which are only ten feet apart.
Once he discovers the error, John is despondent, a rare state for him. Not even his favorite mashed potatoes and chicken gravy I make for a “comfort food” dinner cheer him. We have planted 792 Norton vines, and he is already putting in long days, with help only from Coach since I’m in Atlanta all week. (It would be another eight years before we pull up 194 Norton plants to widen the rows so we can get the tractor through to spray and tend the vines properly.)
It’s early April—the canes on the vines are “bleeding” as the tiny buds wake to another spring and begin to swell. To walk through the rows is to absorb the energy and anticipation that something is about to happen. There is nothing routine about bud break; it’s always fresh and challenging—as if a new movement of a great musical composition is being created each spring.
Other Memoirs from Mercer University Press
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