So much for the daily blogging concept. It was good in theory. I was compelled to play by the rules. But, life happens. Also known as weekends home with children. :o)
Some warm weather did finally appear, which sent us running for the outdoors. Rake in hand, ready for a full session of grass maintenance therapy, I went at it like a beaver building a dam in a lumber yard. After umpty hours of said ground grooming, blisters on hands and stiffness in parts and pieces I have not felt in a year since the last free for all yard fest, I had had enough. All that fresh air and sunshine later caused repetitive eyelid closures at an embarrassingly early hour of the evening. I think I went to bed after my kids. I can't be sure.
Anywho, winter air has returned. It's cold and I am frozen once again. Fighting off last week's fresh batch of kid germs, trying not to succumb to a "spring time" cold, suffering from fuzzy brain. Seriously considering making a GARLIC necklace to wear to ward off illness...
Currently in my mud room there are several thousand garlic to choose from for making a spiffy garlicious necklace all vampires would be leary of. Those little stinking roses that did not make it into the ground, that now give their deliciousness willingly to my overly saturated garlic meals every night. More is better!
... Life happened back in the fall and we had to choose between finding time to put all or most garlic into earth, or fix 10 leaks in new roof and new ceilings of our humble abode. Hmmm.....perhaps it was the fact that we had no more buckets and every single one of my mixing bowls was now doing double duty...perhaps it was the cats playing around in the mixing bowls, as if they were fish ponds...perhaps it was the soggy wet curtains hanging from the bedroom window....in any event, we chose to spend a month fixing every stinking little hole in the house. Literally starting at one corner of the house and moving all the way around, riding in a cherry picker, toolbelts strapped on, one month later, we were buttoned up. 9 holes fixed successfully out of 10 were outstanding results I think. The 10th hole--the dreaded never ending indoor shower in the middle of our mudroom hole is a badge of honor now. It reminds us where we started when we took on this monstrous labor of (insanity) love renovation and how doing the work ourselves the right way, the first time, is definitely key to coming through a renovation with your mental faculties in tact. Well, the jury is still out on that, but...
Here, in southwest Virginia, as spring competes with winter on a daily basis, the robins have returned, the grass is beginning to green a teeny bit, and the garlic is just starting to peek through the soil. Early to mid June we hopefully will be blessed with harvesting about 16,000 new garlic of 21 varieties, if the new varieties introduced last fall faired well. While at the Saugerties Garlic Fest in New York, we picked up about 10 new varieties to add to our selection. Overall, the weather here through the winter was quite favorable concerning the garlic, so we should have a decent yield. Hopefully the fall of 2012 will find Country Girl Garlic being planted minutes from the house instead of 2.5 hours away. Search for land we will, and hopefully we will find a little slice of heaven to get us out of Dodge, and playing in the dirt a little closer to home.
Speaking of Dodge...living in "captivity", here "IN TOWN", is something of an acquired taste, for this country girl. After 2 years, 2 months and 2 days, I can't say I have actually acquired a taste for it. But like any food you are served, you make the best of it. Add salt, pepper, GARLIC...whatever it takes to make the meal more pallatable. 16,000 garlic on my front porch did make it a bit more pungent, but I still have a hankering for the wide open green and the big sky country. Looking out any window and seeing neighbors and homes in such close proximity makes me a bit claustrophobic.
Living in captivity means adjusting to many things. It has opened my eyes wide open to the things I took for granted when I did live out in the country. Such freedoms exist out in the wide open that just can't even be approached in a town setting. The lure of sidewalks and pavement for bike rides, the close proximity to grocery stores and take out food for lazy nights, and the concept of neighborly cookouts and kids having other kids to play with all pale in comparison to peace, quiet, tranquilty, bird songs, trees and woods, visible wildlife, enough room to run and shout, bang a drum, or sing out loud, stargazing and the most amazing views of those most magical things called sunrise and sunsets, and how being able to see them gives you that sense of rebirth every morning and appreciation every evening, before you rest your head.
The magical part of country living is how much it lets your spirit be in connection with what is real. There is an awareness of seasons passing, of daylight moving, of nature speaking to us in the quietude that does not exist in a car filled, always moving, noisy village. In the country you can hear yourself think, there are no huge distractions. A loud bluejay is a welcome friend gifting a song message to you that you welcome without knitted eyebrows. The convening with nature is blissful, even when it comes in the form of pigs to herd out of your garden with a broom and a fly swatter, horses to stop rolling on their backs in your garlic patch, or hungry cows to get out of your corn. Nature's way to teach us is so much more quiet and subtle than here in the big city.
I continue to look at the huge important lessons I have learned over the last 2+ years living in town and can completely recognize the need to have this town living experience for all the growth oportunities it has provided to us. We have new appreciations we did not have previously, greater tolerance for differences, greater love as a family unit, greater patience to mankind. All good stuff.
Growing garlic out of town for this currently in town family is green therapy. It keep us real. It keeps us connected to the land and the earth, when we feel so far away from it all. It's the seeds of our future, our dreams, our goals. It's what carries us through and gives us strength to keep on keeping on, when we can reflect upon how hard we have worked to keep it all going and how easy it would have been to let it all go. Garlic shows us what we are made of, the depth of character we receive from playing in the dirt. It keeps us dreaming of days running barefoot through tall grasses, chasing butterflies, catching lightning bugs and watching sunrise and sunsets together, dogs and cats running free, kids playing outside til the last of twilight, going to bed with green feet and happy faces.
Garlic is our family vehicle.
I look forward to the day we ride it out of town!
.....Bloom where you are planted...
Country Girl Garlic