Friday, April 30, 2010

worth wading for

One week has passed, and what have I done with it?



Wandered at will with my camera.

Fished.  Caught nothing.  Even spit on my worm a time or two...the fish were not interested.  All was not lost though, the scenery- breathtaking.  My camera, ever at my side- utilized considerably.

Dug for treasures in an aged garbage pit...found an awesome rusty Ford hubcap, took it home, added paint and tone and wa-la...made it a landscape ornament.  Also among the ruins found after the tide went out- old medicine bottles, a stoneware cottage, rusty bucket, enamel pot and my favorite piece worth wading for- an old "Men's Room" sign .

I am a picker from way back when...poverty proves that anything is possible and just about anything is redeemable if a bit of creativity, elbow grease and sincere questioning of merit of said garbage is asked and honestly answered.  Following me here?  I dig for junk.  I dig junk.  Not all in a pile like a hoarder, but in a garden, on a shed side, or maybe in a little shadowed corner of a bathroom that needs something else to speak of it's central character.  I figured out way back when, that even though I preferred the drumstick of the chicken, I had brothers who'd stick a fork in the back of my hand should I reach for one.  I learned then- to love the wings.

 I knew from a very young age that my hand me downs were not only from a contributor two sizes bigger than me but who also had no sense of style...ugly and big clothing was not my cup of tea so I learned to turn the cuff and remove one button from here and replace it there.  And probably to most eyes, I still appeared a bit shabby...but to me, by doing so- by making these things to my liking, I became a real making-sunshine-out-of-rain-kind of person.  I yearned for things that others had, but for some reason- I would eventually re-direct my energy towards wanting what I got, with a few adaptations.  Why am I telling you this?  As often happens on this blog- I reveal to the reader which I am only recently discovering of myself.  I have often pursued in my life the improbable, sometimes the seemingly impossible...and here as of late, I have had more time to reflect on why I do the things I do and why I did the things I've done.
 Have I answered all the questions?  Heck no...but I am scratching the surface, peeling the layers, finding the grain- I'm awful big on that stripping stuff.  Which leads me back to the original thought of junk.  I dig junk because in it's time and even now- it serves a purpose, evolving from it's shiny new day to it's old rusty present decay and yet still- to my eyes, it's function, it's original concept, character...may I say it's grain?! is a thing of beauty when it serves a purpose.   It's almost as if I am in-tuned to this stuff- the nature of things.  I gravitate towards the shine and shadow.  That shiny in it's day Ford hubcap would have probably left very little imprint on me...but to see it's original form affected by shadow- it's surroundings, use and nature's way- a masterpiece is revealed.   In a landscape of towering trees and rotting wood below, there that shine and shadow again is revealed in the undergrowth and I wonder, would the flowers there have been as lovely had it not been for the rot that fed their roots?

Just in a pondering mood these days... if you please, what do you think makes up for your personal views?  Are you shaped in part by a significant event in your life or by a place- even some kind of object that holds a deeper meaning to you?

take care-

Friday, April 23, 2010

time away from time

I often told my children stories- some made up, some repeated, some to teach...and some plucked from the clouds floating over head.  Often times, laying like that- with one foot propped upon the opposite knee with free toes wiggling against the bluest beautiful background of a Midwestern sky- shapes would form from the clouds and we'd call out to one another-"See the pig?!"  "And how about that looks like a dragon or a sea horse, do you see that?"   "No, that looks more like a castle!"  (Mathew always saw fortresses and dragons, Lily- wild, free soaring creatures, Emma saw princesses and evil queens and Beau almost always saw mountains with giants and gnome like creatures.  Isn't that odd,  to wonder on the same sky and the same clouds and yet still,  see different things?  
And speaking of different things, I wonder- do others conceive of garden beds as actual little beds for their childlike seeds?  Do you straddle a furrow with your knees on either side and gently though firmly, place each seed in the coolness of the earth there and tuck it in, as if putting it to bed hoping in time, the "child" will rise from it's sleep in a burst one day, stretching itself in the sun?  I think of these things while tending the newly tilled garden- as if I am not a farmer, but a mother tending to her children.  And this may be a really weird way to look at it or even read about, but can I tell you something?  When in anything you do, you feel of your higher self or feel washed over in a way that the eyes cannot see but the something in you recognizes this loveliest of feelings, it is worth repeating...

 We have all known it, at one time or another- this simple recognition of serenity.   In our babies, our kisses, fishing, scents and sunshine...fleeting moments that have long since passed but left a trace like a stitch in the tapestry of our lives.  It is here.  It is there.  But in the rush of living we cannot know it.  It is not  in the cell phone, TV, is in the moment.   Only you in a moment of time unrecognized by any apparatus or book or voice- will know.   To live, to be all that you are comes from recognizing in the moment- the fullness of it.  

Take time away from time soon, wiggle your toes towards the clouds...let the sun seep in and the grass tickle your neck.
Take care-

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hoop-Dee-Do House

Good Spring morning where ever you are!  I had to give the Big Fish a ride to work this A.M, his Toyota being on the blink- and I was able to greet the sun properly.  It seems that buds are ready to burst, birds are building and filling nests and mosquitoes are out lusting for blood already.  No fear, I have a netted type of gear that is supposed to keep them at bay (when I mention this to a true Mainer, they just chuckle and say "wait and see").  In one months time I shall have Guineas on the place, they do keep the bug population down- but from the size of the mosquitoes I've seen, they may need a fork and knife or protective netted gear too.

The man has finished the green/hoophouse, I have christened it the "Hoop Dee Do House",  because every time I'm in it I wonder- why the heck wasn't I having this much fun before?  It is a marvelous device-and right in the ground whether it's rain or shining- seeds are planted, tomatoes are started and should it begin to sprinkle, the soft pelts of the raindrops on top of the plastic are downright mesmerizing- and the soily perfume smell is just plain heaven.
  The farm time clock is running, the numbers just drop away and a sense of flow begins.
  I do believe it is too early to be too hopeful about putting too much in the ground right now- but the hay bale gardens are full with lettuce and radishes, the mini cloche is full of weeds yes, but also chard, radishes and I forget.  Just wanted to get it established in March, so as to show the man that one can grow certain crops in cold weather with a minimum amount of protection.   Today, with this sunshine- my wearied back will get a work out as we have had all gardens tilled but still they need raked and cover crops planted and dill needs to get involved as does broccoli, more beets, more radishes, more lettuce, more arugala, onions, potatoes and soon, I'll be adding perennial horseradish and asparagus to the mix.  Two cherry trees are arriving Wednesday, can't live without my pie cherries...and the herb garden must be put in soon.

Oh!  The butterscotch birds will be here soon as well, Buff Orpingtons- my favorite chicks, hardy, happy built for cold weather poultry.   Now whether the Labs will prove to be better guard dogs of the flock than they were in Illinois remains to be so much here still remains to be seen.  I know hardly nothing of the foliage of the weeds, even the soil is completely different from what I'm use to- but, I'm willing to learn and every day finds me in the classroom that is my new home.

Take care-

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

slow down-take it easy

Good morning.

I recently returned from visiting Illinois for a couple of weeks.  My friends and family joyously treated and greeted me with love, it was so good to see that all were well, including Grandma.  My daughters put up with me and I in return for their hospitality- cooked and cleaned and tried to make sure they were fed some of the good meals they love.  Within a couple of days though, it became apparent to me that their lives were best led by them, their nutritional needs were no longer any of my business and their casa was my casa as long as I respected their authority.  My oh my, how the tables have turned.  My Mathew was genuinely happy to have me around, visiting and talking as we have never done before.  I try to follow his personal philosophy, but the young man is a bit deeper than I can follow at times.  Our conversations were rich and I grew happier inside each time we were together, thinking how interesting his concepts- he really gave me food for thought and I long for and love those talks.   I tried to put myself in the younger sects shoes and realized honestly, I did not have that much going on upstairs at their age.   But from where I sit now, after years of experience and misadventures, I could teach them a thing or two- though it is their own drum they hear now, and the beat is foreign to me.  Generation gap indeed.  (Their jokes are not funny to me, the movies they find fascinating leave me scratching my head and yawning.  And the music..."It's not that I'm old, your music really does suck."   My favorite bumper sticker, long past it's sticky prime- wish I could find another and paste it for all the world to see.) ***with the exception of Bon Iver, I must say there is something about the music that gets under your skin and seeps even deeper...I like it, I like it.
Traveling from Maine to Illinois takes a bit of caffeine, good tunes and a willingness to put up with certain states with their certain drivers and wonder if the genes of conscientiousness and consideration were perhaps left in a corner behind a door by the creator.   In all the times I've traveled through Massachusetts,   I have yet to meet  many* who smile easily.  And when it comes to traffic pile ups and getting over or moving aside so another car can fit in- in my own personal experiences, I can't help but wonder if that smile might surface if only your car would crash and burn, bringing a dark joy to the seemingly joyless.   *I will say, one lovely toll booth operator towards the end of my Mass Pike experience  came out of his shack, smiling and talking all the while- and replaced my gas cap as I must have half hazardously twisted it on at the previous gas stop.   He must have thought I was a mute, all I could do was stare at him with great wonder, finally offering-"I do not mean to offend, but you are very kind.  I don't find that much in these parts."  He laughed and said people say that all the time, matter of fact- he said he was the only one good egg for hundreds of miles.  Then he called me sweetie and wished me well.  Angels among us folks, angels among us.
Truck drivers are the travel agents from heaven.  Need a new route?  Wonder what's up ahead worth getting off the main drag to see?  Ask a truck driver.  Not only will they tell you, they'll make you get your Atlas out while they scratch your dog's ears, help you flip to the right page and hold the page down in wind gusts while tracing with their fingers the most beautiful of drives.  And the restaurants they prescribe are always spot on.  And on top of all of that- should they see you trapped behind slow drivers in fast lanes, they'll set a pick and let you pass.   Truck drivers, good eggs.

One last traveling remark...route 20, Chautauqua County Western New York.  Go.  Truck driver recommended & true wonder approved.  A beautiful reprieve from the turnpike, a blood pressure decrease r, an anxiety elixir, wine country and farms galore, unforgettable landscapes, slow lane, waitresses that call you "hon", ooohhhh I love that!

(I considered letting this blog go to wherever blogs go  after their long run...but, I'm gonna hang in there.  My thoughts tend to be a bit on the loner- looking through the big picture- wondering inside of wonder- life in the slow down- take it easy lane.  If I can but somehow compile that into interesting enough stuff, not to entertain but to inform, not to say this is how one should live, but to say truly- this is how I get by.  I for one do not like to be told how to think, how to live and I do not aim to steer you dear reader, onto a road that was not meant for anyone to travel but me.  I will continue to encourage all to be kinder than necessary, to seek to understand and by all means- seek out the friends and strangers among you that have not only their best interests at heart, but everyone's- for the sake of a common good.  I will continue to sing the praises of sustainable living, local eating, and a  back roads philosophy  If you can stand more of that kind of perspective,  please come and visit- you're always welcome.)

Take care-