On sweat


I kind of knew that putting chairs in the garden was a bad idea. Here they are this morning, receptacles of “stuff” like drying Hutterite Soup Beans and the ever-patient Mother of All Colanders

“Don’t you ever just sit down and take it easy?” my next-door neighbor asks. I have just come with the Mother of All Colanders to load up with some freshly-washed grapes from the wheelbarrow that’s in his front yard. (We still can’t use our water for foodstuffs, so I am still schlepping back and forth to use his hose.)

“I don’t know of any parent of a young kid who just sits down,” I reply, hoping to divert him. This is my umpteenth trip with the colander: it’s Sunday, and we’re juicing the grapes.

I look at my stained fingers typing this. Every night has been devoted to filling up the larder, whether I am jam-making or saucing tomatoes or roasting eggplant or making vegetable stock. Call me a masochist, but frankly, I’m simply more of a glutton. There is something really–and excuse me for dipping into the woo-woo–centering about all this. I don’t know. It’s a purposeful way of being.

And it’s a way of being that doesn’t allow for much rest, at least at this time of year!

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5 responses to “On sweat

  1. It’s funny. We moved away from our big property with the giant sunny garden, to live on a big city lot with no established garden beds… and I’m so happy we live where we do. We were so isolated and depressed out there. But I miss my over-productive garden and the well-stocked pantry from my own hands. That’s why I’m buying food and canning/freezing, until I can get more beds put in and grow my own in abundance again. I suspect it’s going to take a few more years before I’m officially self-sufficient in the “putting up” department again, but in the meantime, I’m duly inspired and impressed by your operation, woman.

    Also, the full-time job off site is putting a serious cramp in my homesteading gig.

  2. Oh I am such a slacker. Look at you being such a worker bee and I’m ignoring my garden and letting stuff rot. And I still have all those lima beans to shell too. You motivate as always

  3. Robin (Bumblebee)

    When my son was quite young a visited a friend with older kids and stayed overnight. After dinner, she SAT DOWN WITH A BOOK. I was in awe and amazed. How could she just SIT DOWN WITH A BOOK? Then I realized that her kids took their own baths and didn’t need her to read a nighttime story. She had time to herself.

    I recall thinking that it would never happen to me. But, as it happens, it did. My son is now 16 years old and I can actually have him clean the kitchen after dinner. (We won’t talk about the quality of the work.) I can read a book, go to bed early or just pet the little dogs. (No TV here.)

    Things do change. You will learn to sit down in those chairs.

    –Robin (Bumblebee)

  4. ohh…bumblebee’s comment seems like a wonderful dream, doesn’t it? Of course, I always tend to think about how much MORE I’ll be able to accomplish in the garden/kitchen when mine are a little older!! šŸ™‚

  5. Kelly: in a word, we’re hermits! It was fairly extreme, moving from living on a city bus route to living on a rural route, but…yeah, we don’t socialize much.

    Knowing you, though? In no time, that yard of yours will do all you want it to, and more. And I also know what a bite a full-time, off-site job has on ANY time at home. I just let the laundry pile up, is all šŸ˜‰

    Meredith: silly you, taking a vacation during the garden’s big push!! FWIW, I just let my limas dry out at will (all the beans, really) and then shell them when I have time…in November, or maybe January.

    Robin. AMAZING. I cannot IMAGINE the concept of my kid showering by herself, much less cleaning the kitchen! I have a friend whose daughter makes her own lunch in the morning (she’s 8) and I think that is miraculous. Hmmm. What will I DO with all that time, I wonder…

    Ang: wow, we can only dream! And with homeschooling, heck, you can make a lesson out of all that canning, right?

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