Showing posts from November, 2014

November Tomatoes and Tea

In the middle of the summer, George and the children cut the tops off of dying tomato plants and put them in jars of water to root. The table stayed busy hosting rooting tomato plants. When one set was ready, they planted them back into the ground, cut more and tops and kept going.   The story goes deeper than rooting tomato plants. When we were at UGA, George collected heirloom brandywine tomato seeds from an ethnobotanist. We grew them and lost a ton of those starts to neglect, chickens, weather, etc. We planted the last of the seeds only to watch the plants wither through the summer from the heat and nasty pests.  The transplanting worked and huge green tomatoes appeared in September. By the end of October we were harvesting tomatoes and saving seeds. We've been eating fresh tomato sandwiches for lunch in mid November! Amelia gathered the last of the green ones before the frost and we keep vigilant hoping they will turn red. We've a good batch of seeds now and hope the

Migrating Monarchs and Fiddler Crabs

Saint Marks, a wildlife refuge, serves as the last fueling station for the Monarch butterflies before they head to Mexico for the winter. It's just up the road from here. We packed our lunches, gathered our friends, and hoped we arrived at Saint Marks with the butterflies. The butterflies were dripping off the salt bushes, fluttering around us, and visiting with other butterflies landing for a snack. The warm sunshine and cool breeze mingled together tempting alligators to sun in the long grasses, birds to visit the shallow waters for snacks, and fiddler crabs to scurry sideways in mass.  Amelia recorded the birds and identified them all for us. Along with our crew, sweet friends Anna, Sarah, and Caleb followed the fiddler crab armies down the beach laughing, squealing, and delighting in their silly antics.  They didn't want to leave. It was a remembering day. Dancing, digging, wading, walking, frolicking, collecting, sampling, squealing, hiding, observing, se

Our Happy Halloween

I spent a lifetime fearing Halloween. As a child, our family would turn off the lights, lock the door, secure anything that should be secured, i.e. the pumpkins on the front door step. We couldn’t risk them getting smashed into our front door - and head out to dinner. The only night of the year we went out for dinner.   Restaurants are safe and empty on Halloween. Waitresses might have added a little witch hat flare, but that was more silly and less grotesque. There were a few All Saints Eve parties at church. We were angels or Ruth and Naomi – My sister and I. My little brother was Joseph. There was some candy, but there were games and songs and always three ladies dresses as angels in silly glasses sing a silly song. So Halloween meant going to church to watch silly angels dance or to a restaurant for dinner to order food from a witch. On the other hand, my dear husband grew up with games and costumes and candy and visiting neighbors they never saw except

Waiting For Happy To Arrive

Thinking I know what happy means, I wait for happy to arrive. It doesn’t. I think I know it well enough to see it coming. I’m looking for A day alone. A day alone with my love. No more pain. A glass of wine. A nice coffee. The finished look. Projects complete. Time to write or sew or create. Well behaved children who do exactly as they ought. Visits from friends and family. A shower without small fingers and faces poking through the curtain. An uninterrupted sleep. A day without interruption. A full bank account. Rooms arranged to perfection. Empty laundry baskets. Happy doesn’t show up. These don’t soul complete, soul fill, soul delight. Happy is this life. Happy is delighting. Happy is seeking out past myself and into the lives of others and finding ways to relieve the pain of the oppressed and the hurting and the ones that don’t have. Happy is watching this all unfold neatly or all in a jumble. 

Leaves Go On Trees

 The classroom landed by the pool. We found leaves and insects and lizards and breezes. It was warm and breezy and we could unfold ourselves into trees and leaves and bark and legs and wings. What shape? What feel? What pattern? What edge? We record and tape. William brings us leaves and tapes leaves to trees because we are using tape and leaves and leaves go on trees. . . .