Thursday, September 1, 2011

The End of Summer Garden

Well, the summer gardening is winding down for 2011. By the end of the weekend everything will be collected canned and waiting for consumption. This year's garden has yielded many pints and quarts of pickles, tomatoes, green beans, corn, salsa, and other nutritious items. This was my first year to actually can vegetables. Previously I had limited myself to growing items that I could freeze or consume. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and look forward to it again next year.

This year I learned to can. I really enjoy the process of preserving good food. I'm not sure how we lost this art to a generation. I guess that we live in a culture devoted to ease and comfort. We treasure conveniences, and if something good requires work, we assume that we need to be paid. Whatever happened to working for a sense of accomplishment. I like to work in my kitchen and work at my own pace. I find that I can accomplish a lot. When I look over the canning seasons and see my shelves full of wonderful things to eat. I feel accomplished. Frequently, in my office these days, I cannot say that. I work all day and see no tangible product. A few sheets of paper have been shuffled from my desk to another's desk. But I can't hold up something and say "Look, I made something". This is why I love making things, growing gardens, and quilting. These are real skills that product something. For me, these are the things that are important in life.

So as the summer closes and fall leads us into the dark winter. I will find other ways to fill my time, I will quilt, I will go to school, and I will work. But mostly I'll start planning for next years garden. I will plan what to plant, and where to plant it, I will decide which plant will get thinned out, and which one need the most nurturing, but mostly what I get is to be nurtured. I find my spirit in my garden in both cool and hot days. I find my spirit sore when I'm one in cooperation in the earth. I feel most human when my Pisces hands are dug deeply into that warm, damp earth. Thanks for the wonderful summer, and what promises to be a Fall full of apple butter, jelly, and homeade mustard, and anything else that I can put in a glass jar.

Food is life! Not McDonalds!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Quiest Nights waiting for Spring

I love these quiet last of winder nights when everything is about to blossom forth. I can see the ground absorbing all of the nutrients seeping into the ground that will feed all the vegetables that I'm planting soon. I can't wait to get my hands on the rake and prepare the ground. Last year I was a beginner in the garden, but not this year. I've learned and I am going to have the largest crop of tomatoes ever. I'll be selling at the end of the driveway. I will be famous for vegetable. Peas, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, zuchini....onions...and who knows what else? I'm ready now. simply ready for the return of the summer, the small animals that inhabit my yard, and who remind me that life is fragile, and that I need to protect it at all costs.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Smallest Gifts

As I was saying goodnight to my husband this evening, I bumped my head on a set of chimes dangling from one of the rafters in the bedroom. As they tinkled their familiar music, I remembered the source one more time. This small set of chimes is one of the smallest gifts that I've ever received, and yet jangles my memory of my sister every time I see them. As I recall the story, my sister gave them to me unexpectedly. Someone was walking the neighborhood selling these door to door. My sister looked at them and simply thought they were pretty. The chimes are made of an inexpensive metal of some sort, with the center chime painted a silvery blue, the chains are silver, and from each silver chain hangs a beautiful painted angel with an irridescent sparkle to all her colors. Cyndie was correct, they are very pretty. It seems in my memory that she bought some other chimes that day also, but I don't remember that as clearly. These little angels have brought me more joy than any other small angel dares to share. They have been hanging in my bedroom for nearly twenty years now, I'm guessing (not exactly sure) I frequently bump my head on them as I walk past, but with regularity I remember to me what was one of the purest gifts that I ever received. What better gift than one that was simply pretty, and it made her want to give me one. Not just anyone else, but specifically me. I was quite touched that day although I'm not sure she knows it. I value those pretty silly angels hanging in my room to this day. Much of their shine is gone, but the brilliance with which they shine for me is nothing short of glorious. They engender in my heart a deep feeling of love for my sister. I said earlier that I believe it to be the truest, most sincere, and heart felt gift that I ever received from her simply because it was a spontaneous gift simply because it was pretty. I think the silly thing cost all of $5, but I love them more than anything. Simply again they remind me of my sister and her love for me. I hope she knows how much I value her.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A God-fearing Woman

Yesterday, I made a trip to our local library to do some homework. I'm working toward my Bachelor of Science degree in Paralegal Studies. While I was at the library, I came upon a book titled "The Atheist's Bible". Out of curiousity I picked it up. The book was a few hundred pages of quotes from famous historical figures, some living and some dead. They were great quotes, so I checked it out of the library and brought it home. My husband was entertaining some guests that day, and we ended up in one of those great late night conversations until 2 am born from sharing the title of the book that I checked out.

One of the quotes bothered me a bit in it's reference to "a god-fearing woman". I started thinking of that and soon realized that at one time in my life I thought it was a good thing to be "god-fearing". I don't think so now. Who wants to be afraid of god, if you are so inclined to be a believer? Not me. Any god that I would choose would be a god of unconditional love, or god would not have my allegiance. Any person following a god that must be feared must live in a terrible place. I cannot imagine waking up from day to day with the thought that if I'm not good enough then my god will judge me, that I could somehow be consigned to know that I had somehow "disappointed" god. I cannot subscribe to such a view. So for those of you out there who do not agree, please let me hear from you. But in the mean time, I, for one, do not want to be a 'god-fearing' woman. I can't imagine that fear would ever be part of a spiritual base that I could actively choose. I am not a Christian, and do not define myself as such, however, I'm still deciding on the existence of god. I'm not sure if "god" is a state of being, found in nature, or if he exists at all, but I can tell you that I do not fear him, not now, not ever. I simply choose to not label myself or my thought. I am a person free to think, and choose when evidence presents itself, when I find it convincing, and when I find truth. And truth is in rare supply these days. Choose to not live in fear! Choose to think! Choose to believe in the evidence of life!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Inside My Head

Inside my head is an unusual world. I think of things that I believe that no one else would ever know. But I'm sure others have their own lonely thought that will never reach another human. What I am sure of is the part of who we are that we share with others.

It's the things that we say out loud that betray what is in our mind. For good & for bad! I'm of the opinion that what we show on the outside probably often tells only of our current emotions, which pass with the next thought. What people hear me say is not really what happens in my head. I think of all the times at work when I've looked at someone who just said something that hurt me, as I brush it off on the outside and move on. I don't forget, and the words often come back later for me to examine in my real world that resides in my head.

But what happens when someone else connects with you, and understands what is in your head without you saying a word. That is the experience that I have with my husband. He just knows, he gets it. We communicate in ways that I never thought possible. I think this knowledge comes from living together for almost 10 years (or is it nine?). I know he catches the fleeting glances that betray what really is inside my head. He catches the nuances of the days when I don't quite feel well, or the days that I wake up cheerful (rarely happens, not a morning person). He knows not to talk to me until I'm dressed and prepared for the world.

Today is my husband's birthday (he's almost sixty, you know?). Private joke. LOL.

I asked him tonight at our Birthday Dinner, how old he thought that we would get to be in this lifetime. He guessed that we would live into our 80's, and that would be wonderful, but I want to live to 100. I just want to hit three digits. The one thing that I know, however, is that our love is timeless. Simply because he understands what really lives inside my head, without my ever saying a single word. Happy Birthday, Greg!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Watching the World Go By

It's midday, I've finished a lunch. I left my office to get away for a few minutes to remove myself from the hectic pace. Today, as I do often, I drove to the local library for some quiet time. I love my library. I can sit here totally alone in a comfortable chair and look out a beautiful big window. This little area is perched on the second floor and overlooks a street coming out of downtown St. Cloud, MN. Sitting on this corner, I can see the American Red Cross, HRA, a few older homes, and Denny's Shoe Repair. A gray lady walks down the street carrying her bag at a snail's pace. On the other side, a Somali woman strolls to the library entrance. Cars pass on the journey to ....wherever. Another young fellow is walking across the intersection with what appears to be a box of donuts or another bakery treat for someone.

I sometimes sit in this spot and just watch. I catch myself wondering who these individuals are and where they might be going. I wonder about the journey that brought them to this instant, and wonder if they know that they have played some ever so tiny role in my pleasure of watching the world pass by.

Today, I muse on the life of the Somali woman. Coming from a culture that is so far removed from the rather homogenous background of Saint Cloud, I think that her life may be difficult. Did she come here for opportunity? Was her family able to come with her? How does she survive in a culture so foreign to our existance? I just moved here from Texas a few years ago, and find this place foreign; I can only imagine the culture shock for her.

I also watch the cars driving by and wonder about the destinations. I ask myself why are they all in such a hurry. That's why I come here, to sit and not be hurried. I need a space in my day that is not filled. I need a spot where I can reflect no matter how mundane the thoughts. I like finding the most remote section of the library, and simply sit. Occasionally, my spot is interupted by a person or two strolling the stacks, but overall I'm alone. Alone and yet not really alone as I watch my friends, that I have not yet met wander through my life. I hope they know that I am enriched by their simple presence.