Sunday, September 13, 2015


If you think you've heard a version of this conversation before, well, that means your memory reaches as far back as a year ago.

I don't think I want to do a canoe trip on the upper Missouri...
(With genuine surprise and disappointment) Why not? It's perfect! We've found the outfitters, there are no rapids...
The book we ordered second hand? I've been reading it. The author talks about the known dangers...
Dangers? What dangers?!
Rattlesnakes, for one...

(Looking up venomous snake bite statistics on the internet)... a few thousand per year and only a half dozen deaths. In the whole country!
It's not that I think I'm going to die from a snake bite, but it's one of those things you're likely to encounter. Like bears if you go up to Canada. 
You're not going to go because of rattlesnakes?
The guy also talks about meth labs, overturned cars and junk in the river, mud banks if the river is low, not many places to camp when the river is high...

We read accounts of good trips there!
But he writes about the down sides...

You did this before our last camping trip and see how beautiful it was? Didn't you have a great time?
I did, but that's because nothing went wrong. We didn't have any major mishaps. It was insanely perfect. This one's not likely to be that perfect. 
Your ride on Rosie is more dangerous than a canoe trip on the upper Missouri!
I don't try to talk you out of your boredom with Europe...
We had been to Sorede so many times -- same thing again and again...
And when we camp, we do the same thing: we pitch a tent, you boil water, we open pouches of "curry in a hurry"...
Small stuff! The big stuff is always different and new.

So our spring adventure, on the table since our last Adirondack adventure, suddenly is off the table because I do not want to go.

Haven't we been down this path before?!

I let the cheepers out at around seven in the morning and I note that the thermometer is registering temperatures in the forties. Yes, there's a morning chill in the air, but I hardly notice it. It's a beautiful early fall day!

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We clean the farmhouse and then pause for breakfast...

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...and after, we throw ourselves into work outside. I dig out more of the weeds and old strawberries and it takes many hours before I'm satisfied with my progress. Ed looks at the pile of spent plants.
It was such work planting them all!
Yes, but they never gave us more than a handful of berries. And now they're simply old and invasive. 

Indeed. In the first years, we didn't weed them because we tried throwing netting over the whole patch to keep birds out. Netting, weeds, runners -- all got tangled and the animals found their way inside anyway. This year we removed the netting, but it was too late: most of the plants were getting too old and the weeds, new plants, old plants all meshed together into one huge chaotic mess.

Plant, pull out, plant something else. Try a new spot. Try a new crop. Or a new version of an old crop in a new place. This is out way of growing food.

Our tomatoes, though abundant enough to fill our large freezer this year, nonetheless need to be moved next year. The soil needs to be refreshed -- our stuff is coming in smaller, less robust. So it's back to the re-digging of a veggie field that had been in use before I moved here. We'll have to start work on that bed next week to get it ready for a spring planting.

Still, as I continue to dig and pull, dig and pull all day long, I think that these are not full circles. We're spinning out toward a greater understanding of our limitations and our possibilities. I think that this is good, even if honestly, sometimes it seems like we're merely spinning ourselves silly and in effect, staying quite still.

Let me leave you with just one garden photo -- of a gaura stem against sprigs of lavender. Ed tells me -- I thought the garden stops blooming right about now... and yet, look at all the flowers around us!
I am in total agreement: there is much to admire!

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In the evening, the young family comes for dinner and we eat an old family spaghetti dish -- making use of our garden tomatoes of course. Snowdrop has had a long and busy day, but she continues to be in high spirits. We cook together.

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And then, for the first time at our Sunday dinners, Snowdrop joins us at the table. She's not eating with us yet, but she will be soon!

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She takes her task of being a full dinner participant very seriously.

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And we do too! It's a beautiful evening. Yes, we needed our sweaters, but no one is complaining. At all.