Wednesday, September 19, 2007

On sweat

I kind of knew that putting chairs in the garden was a bad idea. Here they are this morning, receptacles of "stuff" like drying Hutterite Soup Beans and the ever-patient Mother of All Colanders

"Don't you ever just sit down and take it easy?" my next-door neighbor asks. I have just come with the Mother of All Colanders to load up with some freshly-washed grapes from the wheelbarrow that's in his front yard. (We still can't use our water for foodstuffs, so I am still schlepping back and forth to use his hose.)

"I don't know of any parent of a young kid who just sits down," I reply, hoping to divert him. This is my umpteenth trip with the colander: it's Sunday, and we're juicing the grapes.

I look at my stained fingers typing this. Every night has been devoted to filling up the larder, whether I am jam-making or saucing tomatoes or roasting eggplant or making vegetable stock. Call me a masochist, but frankly, I'm simply more of a glutton. There is something really--and excuse me for dipping into the woo-woo--centering about all this. I don't know. It's a purposeful way of being.

And it's a way of being that doesn't allow for much rest, at least at this time of year!


Kelly said...

It's funny. We moved away from our big property with the giant sunny garden, to live on a big city lot with no established garden beds... and I'm so happy we live where we do. We were so isolated and depressed out there. But I miss my over-productive garden and the well-stocked pantry from my own hands. That's why I'm buying food and canning/freezing, until I can get more beds put in and grow my own in abundance again. I suspect it's going to take a few more years before I'm officially self-sufficient in the "putting up" department again, but in the meantime, I'm duly inspired and impressed by your operation, woman.

Also, the full-time job off site is putting a serious cramp in my homesteading gig.

meresy_g said...

Oh I am such a slacker. Look at you being such a worker bee and I'm ignoring my garden and letting stuff rot. And I still have all those lima beans to shell too. You motivate as always

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

When my son was quite young a visited a friend with older kids and stayed overnight. After dinner, she SAT DOWN WITH A BOOK. I was in awe and amazed. How could she just SIT DOWN WITH A BOOK? Then I realized that her kids took their own baths and didn't need her to read a nighttime story. She had time to herself.

I recall thinking that it would never happen to me. But, as it happens, it did. My son is now 16 years old and I can actually have him clean the kitchen after dinner. (We won't talk about the quality of the work.) I can read a book, go to bed early or just pet the little dogs. (No TV here.)

Things do change. You will learn to sit down in those chairs.

--Robin (Bumblebee)

Anonymous said...

ohh...bumblebee's comment seems like a wonderful dream, doesn't it? Of course, I always tend to think about how much MORE I'll be able to accomplish in the garden/kitchen when mine are a little older!! :)

El said...

Kelly: in a word, we're hermits! It was fairly extreme, moving from living on a city bus route to living on a rural route, but...yeah, we don't socialize much.

Knowing you, though? In no time, that yard of yours will do all you want it to, and more. And I also know what a bite a full-time, off-site job has on ANY time at home. I just let the laundry pile up, is all ;)

Meredith: silly you, taking a vacation during the garden's big push!! FWIW, I just let my limas dry out at will (all the beans, really) and then shell them when I have November, or maybe January.

Robin. AMAZING. I cannot IMAGINE the concept of my kid showering by herself, much less cleaning the kitchen! I have a friend whose daughter makes her own lunch in the morning (she's 8) and I think that is miraculous. Hmmm. What will I DO with all that time, I wonder...

Ang: wow, we can only dream! And with homeschooling, heck, you can make a lesson out of all that canning, right?