Years ago when I wrote a weekly newspaper column, I often had the same self-defeating thought but had to forge ahead regardless of everyday demands. There's a lot to be said for deadlines. Dogs resulted, but I occasionally produced something that pleased me. Reading over those columns 25 years later, too many make me cringe. Others make me a proud of what I was once able to think and write. I'm older now. Can I still do it?
My everyday life is focused on gardening and cooking, much of which is linked to my 36-year marriage to PK; keeping fit with yoga and cycling; fulfilling my requirement for heavy backbeat music and vigorous dancing; shepherding my sweet almost-94-year-old mother through her last years; keeping up a part-time writing/editing business; maintaining precious friendships; traveling when possible, and sustaining a supportive role for the Women's Crisis Support Team, a domestic violence non profit in Grants Pass. What comes gasping at the end is artistic expression via blog writing and photography. I also dream of textile art (why else have I saved all those fabric scraps and wine sleeves?) drawing, painting, and putting together creative projects on behalf of our adorable first grandson, Noah Preston Korbulic, nearly six months old.
|That's him. Noah. Most adorable Duck fan ever.|
The young father will soon learn that his child is not his for long, but belongs to the universe; and the wandering son will know, if he doesn't already, the truth of this Stephen Crane poem:
A man said to the universe.
"Sir I exist!" "However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."
And that brings me back to my universe: the simple little plot of Earth that PK and I temporarily claim as our own. It is 3.5 acres of Rogue Valley bottomland. We live in a modest but much-loved home that we started building 30+ years ago. The soil here is sticky fertile black clay, but through the years we've reclaimed a sizable piece, and with mountains of organic matter, have turned it into sweet friable soil that releases an intoxicating fragrance when turned over, and produces, with much toil and love, food that sustains us. This piece of land is small. But it belongs to us, to PK in one way and to me in another. So let's get to that.
After having declared the summer harvest over and done several times, last on November 13, I was delighted to discover the world's sweetest cherry tomatoes still ripening in a once-hidden corner of the garden. I picked a berry basket and declared it quits on summer harvest. On Nov. 18th, I ventured into the rain and wind, and little golden nuggets beckoned again. Unbelievably, there was another basket to pick! See how jewel-like the universe can become when one is focused on an infinitesimal patch of Earth? Well, I guess you had to be there.
|These are the last- harvested round and paste tomatoes, Nov. 8 Many years the garden is inundated by this time.|
|And these are Roma types that have been ripening inside since early November.|
|Tomato removal in progress. So many green ones didn't reach maturity, but we still had the most prolific tomato harvest in memory. All those green ones on the vine will go into the pile in the next picture.|