Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weeks Review

I know, I've been neglecting this blog a bit lately. My real life is often mirrored here. Some days or weeks I have so much to say - so many ideas, inspirations every where and I'm busy making, doing, moving. And other weeks I withdraw a bit. I spend more time reading and moving in different ways - like washing and folding and cleaning and painting.

Writing this blog has made those rhythms in my life very clear (to me). Sure, sometimes I'm quiet here because I'm busy but those times are usually followed by a burst of thoughts and ideas and pictures and things.

This week or so I've been quiet because I've been cleaning out clothing and books. Catching up on laundry. Reading and reading more. Napping. Being sick (again?!). I'm trying something new with my diet. I've been planning and reflecting. Weeks like this are a strange sort of meditation for me. I've even scaled way back on baking and cooking in general. Sometimes I get frustrated when I have these natural slow downs, but I'm starting realize that they're needed. My body and my mind know what they need to do, and I need to just trust and flow with it. I don't have to be doing a zillion things at once.

We met our across the street neighbor this past weekend. I've been eying his house for a while. I knew already that he was an older Italian man who called every woman "pretty lady" and he had animals and grew a lot of food. He came over the other afternoon and we got talking for quite a while. He's 75, but looks much, much younger. He's lived here for over 40 years but still has a very thick accent and broken English. We got to see his land. Little gardens spread out everywhere. He picked some asparagus, I've never had it fresh picked and raw. It was delicious! He gave me some garlic greens fresh out of the ground to bring home. He has sheep and chickens and peacocks and turkeys and a giant pig and 2 beautiful steer. He called them, and they came right up to us! (on the other side of a small wire fence). It was absolutely amazing.

He offered us use of almost all his farm equipment, should we need it. We showed him our small garden and he said something along the lines of people need to learn to garden from other people - it needs to be passed down and shown. When he was showing us his turkeys (he has two) he told us he used to have 10, but he gave them away for Thanksgiving last year. He said (again I'm paraphrasing - he was difficult to understand) that when you have too much you should never waste anything, you should always give it to people who don't have enough. When showing us his animals (which are pasture raised and supplemented with grain) he kept telling us how they need to eat well, so he can eat well. That if you eat well, and keep moving you'll live a long, long time.

Then, he also made a couple of pretty racist comments. Being raised in a totally different time from him - where comments like that are shocking and wrong, I wasn't sure how to respond. So I just didn't. He didn't say it meanly, if that makes sense. Just as regular conversation. It was so strange. And the fact is, that's how he was raised. He was from a generation where that was normal. We were segregated. Talk like that was not shocking. It disappointed me a little. Here's this guy who was so friendly and did all these things I admire and then he's flat out racist. Strange, strange.

This is about 3 weeks ago, so they're much bigger now!

Most of my seeds are doing well. I think I over watered some and didn't move them to bigger pots soon enough 'cause I lost a couple - but overall they're looking good. We still have a few more weeks before the danger of frost is past (in the 30's last night and tonight) but I hope to have the garden ready to go in the next week or so. My garden looks especially little after visiting our neighbors! But of course, he built up his land over 40 years - not all at once. Small steps.


Missy AKA Little Messy Missy said...

Great looking raised bed!I have meet a few older men just like that. Hahahaha you just have to do what you said, say nothing... happy planting!

Sara said...

It looks good! We are looking at moving our plants soon, too. And I put too many carrot seeds in each pod and am not sure how to work that out. :S Learning from others is the best way to learn, but in the case of carrots, I had no idea and neither does/did Grandpa. Lesson learned. One seed... hahha!

Your neighbor sounds interesting. Racism is alive and well. Is it irony to you that he wants to pass on things to the next generation and then demonstrated racism?

kiki said...

I love your photos Crystal and your neighbor sounds like a very interesting person.