One of the fun things about buying a house with existing landscaping is waiting to see what will pop up. So far, the fruit trees are looking good. The sweet cherries were mostly eaten by the birds, but the sour cherries are (thus far) untouched. I have plans for pie.
The basil was started from seed months ago, and has taken off in the hot sun. Broccoli starts from a co-worker have flourished in our one garden bed, along with radishes, transplanted chives and a few wimpy peppers.
As far as I can tell, we have two cherry trees, a pear tree, three(?) apple trees and two plum trees. Plus two small trees that won't bear any fruit for a few years. This summer we're growing tomatoes in buckets, with plans to start a larger raised-bed garden next year.
There are some good bulbs on the property, including a huge mass of orange day lilies. Earlier we had yellow, purple and burgundy iris, and when I first looked at the house in April, there were masses of hyacinth and crocus scattered about. Surprises for next spring.
I've planted some cheap annuals in pots, and started nasturtiums from seed for the heck of it. I enjoy watching these things grow.
For me, every day is a buffet.When eating a meal with various foods, I tend to eat in a circle, tasting a little of each. Usually without realizing, I leave an equal amount of each food until the end.
At work, I switch tasks often and quickly. I might work on a press release for 20 minutes, then order fiction for half an hour, then answer several emails about varying topics. I might then call a new volunteer to set up an interview, and then work a shift at the information desk for a few hours, doing a number of different things while I'm there helping people with questions about finding books or movies, using the computers, downloading ebooks, printing and copying.
I've read that multitasking decreases productivity, but it's unavoidable in my life. I still manage to dive into some tasks for longer stretches, and pleasure reading can completely absorb my attention for hours when I make the time. Lately I am able to spend more time than planned working outside, trimming trees and shrubs, weeding and tidying up our landscaping. Maybe physical tasks are easier to get lost in, when the whole body is involved. When only the mind and hands are busy, distractions are easier to find.
The most useful advice I've received and continue to use:
3. If you don't have something nice to say, zip your lip.
2. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
And the big one:
1. When walking, driving or bicycling, always — ALWAYS — look others in the eye before proceeding. Never assume they see you unless you see them seeing you.
This piece of advice (thanks, Mom and Dad) has saved my life — and my limbs — a number of times.
I feel ashamed. I have been walking Kalispell for nine months, and I have hardly taken any photos around town.
Lately I have been neglecting my cameras in favor of time at home. Oh yeah, and that whole grad school thing got in the way for a while.
I will make it my mission to remedy this. Very soon.
I want to ask if you remember
the visits when I was small:
the soft, damp kisses you gave me,
and my high-pitched voice calling “Hi Boppa!”
while you aimed the video camera.
You eventually turned it to the sky, filming
white wisps and swirls,
murmuring about the temperature and wind.
Clouds used to fascinate you.
Now they are only proof of government
conspiracy -- influencing the atmosphere,
causing sickness. You used to laugh
more easily, you used to barbecue
hamburgers in a wheelbarrow
and play whiffleball with all us grandchildren,
wearing your white cotton undershirt,
cut-off shorts and brown rubber sandals.
When I see you now and you refuse to hug,
almost refuse to shake hands --
“Hollywood’s perversion of touch,” you say --
I want you to remember.
I want to grasp your hands, shaking
as they handle your knife and fork,
and hold them.
© 2003 April K Szuch
I've never lived anywhere else that felt that way. In every other place, I have driven or walked or biked to the edges, and known where things ended and the rural places began. Even living in Spokane during college, I knew the city well enough to know where I was in it. I had been to the southerly ends of the South Hill, and far beyond the north end many times. I knew where it ended in the west, and how it gradually melted away in the east, toward Idaho.
Part of this is geographical knowledge, and part of it is having control and freedom. As a kid, I was free to bike and wander all over the small town where we lived. I knew all the edges. But as a teenager in Olympia, I didn't have the time or the freedom to wander so widely. Also, it was often rainy, which is not the best for biking. I walked a lot, in our neighborhood and downtown, but that covered only a small portion of the populated areas.
I always enjoy visiting cities, even enormous ones London, Paris, Mumbai, New York, Toronto, Quebec, Seattle, San Francisco but I have no desire to live in one. It would take so long to wander the streets and find the perimeter, and meanwhile things would keep changing before I had the chance to memorize them. I enjoy walking the same streets each day, seeing the same houses and sometimes the same people, never being more than a few miles from woods and fields and empty spaces.
In a city, it's easy to blend in and just observe, but a city is also
"this place of endless intersections where people never meet."
Underground Time, Delphine de Vigan
These details may be mere reflections of a publishing cycle, but I find them interesting.