Tuesday, October 18, 2022

It All Went Away

 Not sure how things are going in your area,
but we have had the strangest year in the garden.
Everything is a full three weeks later than normal.
This basket is a good 20"-22" diameter.

As of writing this,
it is mid October.
Our beans and tomatoes are finally "coming on."
My eggplant has produced 2 fruit since spring.
At the moment it has 5 fruit on it.
We are expected to have mild temperatures for the next
week so I should be able to harvest them.
Typically, by the beginning of October,
I have already or am in the process of putting the garden
to bed for winter.
I currently have a couple tomato plants I will be pulling this weekend but the others are loaded both with ripe and green fruit.
We ran pretty low this year since we weren't getting much
in the way of fresh produce from our garden.
It's been a good lesson for me
to get as much as I can while I can.
The current prices at the grocery store are also 
pretty good incentive.
We also got a ton of delicious mild onions.
Well, not a full ton (heehee) but a lot!
I've been sorting them into boxes with brown paper
between layers to preserve some for fresh,
but I've had the dehydrator earning its keep, for sure.
In addition, we've been going full throttle at work
so extra time off hasn't been possible.
I could work full time at work and full time at home lately.
Thus the reason for so few posts.
Now to get to what the title is all about.
This year, Hubby put in for an elk hunting tag in Montana
with a long time friend of his who also enjoys bow hunting.
Bow season is earlier than rifle seasons so it's usually quieter.
FYI: MT hunting licenses and tags are expensive!
Well, two weeks before they were scheduled to leave,
his friend had a massive heart attack and flat-lined twice.
He has miraculously lived to tell it himself,
but needless to say, he wasn't able to go hunting.
Hubby went for two long weekends by himself
which neither of us were really wild about.
There is no phone service out there, and it's not an area
either of us is familiar with.
(His friend has hunted there for years.)
The third week of the season, 
he asked if I'd want to go if we took the trailer
and left on Tuesday and came back on Sunday.
For both of us to leave the business,
and for me to leave the garden and kitchen
right when everything was going nuts,
was a difficult decision to make.
I finally thought, you know what?
It's all going to be here when I get back.
I could work myself to the grave, or I could go
and take a break that was very much needed.
So we went~
The first day there, I took three, 3, III naps!
It was beautiful!
We camped right next to a creek off a very remote dirt road.
And for a few days,
it all went away.
No work.
No politics.
No banking or balancing books.
No urgency.
No food preservation.
No worries.
No people.
No noise.
It was so wonderful.
It was the longest vacation we've taken since we've been married, going on 12 years.
We somewhat reluctantly returned home Sunday night about 8PM, and the alarm went off at 4:30 Monday morning.
We've both been going non-stop since we returned,
but for just a couple days,
it all went away.


Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Look Both Ways

You might not believe this,
but yesterday I heard a little news
discussing Christmas.
Can you believe it?
I am still in the garden and the kitchen.
Everything is a full three weeks late this year
so I am finally getting tomatoes and green beans.
For some reason, it really struck me.
More of a "Wait, what's today?  When is Christmas?"
sorta striking.
It did get me to thinking though.
I realize I'm odd in my thinking,
but when I hear things like this, 
it's often later that I really offer much consideration to the topic.
So as I was pondering Christmas,
a feeling of Christmas past, if you will,
came over me.
I reflected on some merry times, both from my youth and that of my children's, then up through the years.
My heart kinda smiled.
Then I thought of Christmases even further back in time,
those I've read about but wasn't alive to encounter.

I thought of the contrast.
The joy of some Christmas candy or small token
and the exhaustion of the mountains of presents to open
and then filter through and deal with.
Of course those of you who know me
know I appreciate the simple things and history.
Then I reflected upon the report I heard
discussing the upcoming Christmas
and the forecast for the next few Christmases.
 I was a little saddened.
I fear many older children and younger adults
might not like what's ahead. 
They've been spoiled with volume.
One woman actually said if she gave her son a gift of socks,
and needful items that he would probably throw it away.
I was appalled, but my first thought was that it was the mom's fault
for setting expectations and not teaching him 
the real meaning of Christmas.

What I am about to say is not to open a political conversation,
but to encourage you and hopefully help prepare you.
We are in a recession and headed full force towards a depression.
I am saying this based on observation
instead of what any news source is/isn't broadcasting.
Businesses are closing and reducing hours.
There are pan-handlers begging right out in front of businesses
with "help wanted" signs.
The prices at the grocery store keep going up 
and the size of the packages becomes smaller. 
In order to prepare our own hearts,
I would ask what we expect - each of us,
not just for Christmas, but every day.
Have we set our selves up like that mom has her son?
Do we expect so much that we would be disappointed
if we didn't get some glorious gift or lifestyle?
What happens when we don't get what we want?

That's actually a pretty deep question, I know.
I don't expect anybody to answer out loud,
but if you think later like I do
and think your loved ones are headed towards disappointment,
there might be time.
As I type this, the calendar tells me there are 74 days until
Our family came to grips quite a few years ago.
None of us had tons of money.
Nor did we need or actually want more "stuff."
We all came to an agreement of one small gift each.
We changed our focus from "I still have to buy. . ."
to "What can I bring or do?"
We enjoy our time as a family and a "feast."
We count our blessings instead of presents.
And you know what?
It's usually a joyous day.
As you look forward,
if you do think your loved ones are revving up for a let down,
now might be a great time to "bring it on home" as I like to say.
Have the conversation.
Set the expectations appropriately.
Share love rather than things.
Perhaps some still want to go all out but as belts tighten,
knowing one has love and acceptance and
understanding someone else knows the struggle
can be a comfort and make things not only more barrable,
but even merry.
I love Christmas and the Reason we celebrate,
but for the time being
I'm still in the garden.