Tuesday, June 04, 2013

CULTIVATING, PLANTING, WATERING

That's what I did at least part of the day. The middle part, I think.

Let's see. This morning I still wasn't feeling well. Oh, I didn't post about that. Back up.

Yesterday was one of my two-days-a-week of doing housework for a lady. I've toyed with riding my bike to and from her place.... about 22 miles each way. But it was raining and I woke up not feeling well and didn't feel like biking (or cleaning.) Compromise: My husband, who had a class in that area, took me and my bike, I cleaned for her, and rode my bike home. The whole time I was cleaning and biking, I was entertaining thoughts of calling him to come get me, but I stuck it out. She needed the help, and apparently she needed something else, too, because she asked me what my favorite hymn is. I thought..... there are so many.... "I like 'How Great Thou Art.' " She said, "Can we sing it together?" So we did, as we folded her laundry together. Then we sang more hymns. This house-help job at her place, well, I never know what I am going to be called upon to do. From the start, I've felt it was kind of a ministry..... she seems, in a way, to need the company more than the house help. A lot of the time we work together and I keep her company. Yesterday, well, as we worked we sang hymns. You just never know.

I have a Big Ride coming up June 22. It's the Diabolical Double route of the Garrett County Gran Fondo: 125 miles of humongous hills. I know I will be fighting fatigue and probably feeling like heck for the last half of this ride, so it's good for me to bike while tired, not feeling well, and resisting the urge to call for a bail-out. So this 28-miler (I took a longer route to avoid a wet dirt road) was good for me. And I got to see a bear. Kind of smallish.... about as large as my 45-pound dog. Probably a yearling, but there didn't seem to be any mama with him. Or if there was, she just let me go by on my bike. Anyway, it's always a privilege to see a bear.

So, this morning I still felt sub-par. I was drinking coffee trying to wake up, and Steve said he guessed he'd go up to my mother's house and mow grass. ~Sigh~ That means, if he's going, I should go too, and sort and pack and clean. My mother went to assisted living in December, and we're getting her house ready to rent. It's a huge job.

OK...... so, with all that preamble, you'll understand now when I say that by the time I got to the garden I'd already done several hours of work while not feeling well. And the work at my mother's..... well, I can't think of anything I'd less rather do. So coming home to the garden was balm to my soul.

I'm arranging my garden plot into beds and patches, separated by walking paths. Some of these little patches have rows going longitudinally, and some latitudinally. I hoe out weeds, but where I've found ox-eye daisies growing, I've left them. They're pretty, and they can be eaten. You wouldn't make a meal out of them, but they're a fun nibble. All parts of the plant are edible, but I especially like the buds, sweet and slightly peppery. So daisy plants are growing in some of my little plots.

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I've also left lamb's quarters where I've found them. Or, if they've grown in places where I'm creating a path, I've actually transplanted some into my beds of greens. Because lamb's quarters are one of the world's absolute best vegetables. There is almost nothing more nutritious, or, in my book, more delicious than lamb's quarters. The leaves taste a little like spinach, but softer and mellower; the stems resemble asparagus, but again softer and mellower. So I was delighted to find it as one of my weeds. 

As I surveyed the work I've done in the last week, I realized I've forgotten what I planted in some of the plots, or whether some are empty, waiting for later plantings. I should have drawn a diagram or something. I can't mark the beds with seed packets, because I don't empty them. Seeds keep for two or three years, so I save them from year to year.

So, grandma here doesn't remember what is planted where in her garden. But that's OK. I'll know as soon as I see the plants coming up. Just today some beans let me know where they are. And some tiny little double leaves of some member of the cabbage family. This would be either collards or kohlrabi, probably the latter, since I planted the collards a few days later. Some salad greens (a spring mix) are coming up too.... little twin leaves that look like little green dots, but unmistakably some kind of lettuce.

After an hour of hoeing, raking, weed-discarding, daisy-saving, rock-removing, and watering from a barrel, I came home (just across the road) and rested awhile. I didn't feel bad anymore. Either it ran its course, or I was healed in the garden, a distinct possiblity.

Then folded the laundry my dear husband had kindly done last night, and found something to eat (we mostly forage for ourselves nowadays), and then it was time to pick up my mother for a nursing-home hymn sing.

She's 92 and lives in an assisted-living facility, but once a month she goes with members of my church to a full-fledged nursing home and plays the piano for us while we sing 8 hymns. It's wonderful fun. So many of the elderly residents know every word of every verse of every hymn by heart. Others use books which we provide. Still others nod their heads and/or beat time. And others loll in their wheelchairs or recliners give no indication whether they even know they're still on this earth. I pray for special blessings for them and that they will be able to hear and sing at some level. What do we know? Just because they're lolling absently in their wheelchairs doesn't mean they're not there.

After that, I loaded my mother back into the truck (requires a step stool), stopped around at the Dollar General to see if they had any big boxes, which they did, which I loaded into the back of the truck; then stopped at the ice cream stand and bought a cone for my mother and another one for me; then drove out to her house and dropped off the boxes,  to pack her junk with; then drove back to her assisted living via back roads that she rarely has occasion to see, hoping to see another bear, which we didn't, but she told me all about all the residents of her assisted living home. I know all about them because she tells me about them every time we talk. She does not remember that she's told me. She is lucid and with-it in the moment, and uses a vocabulary that will send you scurrying for your dictionary, but she doesn't remember most of what anyone has already said, including herself. But put her in front of a piano, or hand her a violin or even a cello, and she enters the realm of knowledge that's never forgotten.

And then I came home and wrote this and now I'm going to bed.

I intended to do a 2-mile run but I never got to it. Tomorrow. Before I go clean for the lady I clean for. And, apparently, sing hymns with.

Boy, you just never know what you'll cultivate, seed, or water, and what will come up.

1 comment:

fiberjoy said...

All in all a lovely post! Seems like you've found a good rhythm to your life for the summer. Gardens are a tremendous amount of work but the rewards are worth the effort, let alone the quiet time working God's earth.