March 10

4. Happy Birthday, once again!

Seems like I was just applauding Year 3.

I not only woke up this morning, minus an hour for Daylight Savings Time, but I was missing 3 whole months, and now I’ve just realized I’ve lost an entire year!

Time flies when you’re having fun, as they say.

I’ve been wanting to sit down and post a few things to this website, I just haven’t found the time lately. I think I may be suffering from hibernation distraction.

What is that, you ask?

It’s a serious mental degeneration that happens when those who normally should be hibernating during the Winter months, find themselves wrapped up in so many activities, they’re distracted and lose track of all sense of days or time. Instead of wrapping up in a blanket, they’re focused on other things so they don’t notice Winter is upon them, until Spring arrives and they wake from their sleepwalking-through-Winter, only to discover the clock’s been ticking away the whole time, but they haven’t stopped long enough to take notice. I think it’s a definite medical condition but I don’t think they make a pill for it.

Soup and bed rest, maybe.

At this point, I can’t even tell you what I’ve been busy doing all year. A lot of reading, studying, conversing with total strangers, admiring the beauty around me – which I used to ignore a lot because I was so focused on running away from this place. And I’ve been raising a bear cub – which is a full-time job, if you ask me! Kiwi is still growing strong, and intimidating, and every ounce of her is a ray of sunshine in my day. I think she’s helped to make this year go by faster.

I’ve been so distracted, my favorite holiday – Groundhog Day – passed me by this year without me even noticing until it was almost St. Patrick’s Day! I think I need to make an appointment for a medical checkup. That’s so not like me. I did acknowledge Chinese New Year. The day after it arrived.

I’ve been taking a lot of gardening classes lately.

It all started because a friend of mine wanted to know how to become a certified Master Gardener. By helping her get registered for the course, I decided to renew mine. I’ve been a Master Gardener for almost 20 years. A lot of things have changed. Back then, our lives – and our health – weren’t threatened by GMOs or EPA unregulated pesticides. I was aware back then of how quickly our heritage seeds were disappearing and it was one of the motivating reasons behind me getting my Master certification. Monsanto has been determined to become the global source for seeds, which is not a good thing for humankind, for more than 30 years. I wanted self-preservation. I wanted to be able to grow whatever I wanted without having to beg, borrow, or steal. Looking back, I’m very thankful, and I know I made a wise choice.

I didn’t have to renew my certification.

When I became a Master Gardener, it was for life. Now they require a certain number of hours, in-class, every year, to maintain your certification. I will always be taking community ed classes. I enjoy learning – and it gives me a chance to network with people who share the same goals I have. And sharing is a huge factor in the garden community. It’s refreshing. It makes you become more aware of how much selfishness exists in this world.

Net-Fix.

Another activity I’ve enjoyed this Winter is spending one day a week at my friend’s house, watching something on Netflix.

She has tv.

I don’t.

She has Netflix.

I don’t.

Together, we’ve managed to turn that into something fun.

We take turns making a part of a meal, then we watch Netflix – or The Cosmos series – every Sunday. It’s almost like our new religion. We share a meal and ideas. It’s very enriching for both of us. I highly recommend you try it. Just pick someone and invite them over – or invite yourself into their living room, if you’re like me and don’t own a tv. Offer to make a soup or a dessert or whatever – even if it’s Chinese Takeout. Share. Learn. Expand. Grow. Enjoy. Communicate. Enrich your lives.

Nothing is more worthwhile than spending time with a friend, while learning about something new. And eating. It’s a ritual worth savoring.

Another ritual that I’ve been pursuing with another friend of mine is taking pictures of antiquish things – things that survived through Yesteryear and now, for whatever reason, gets overlooked as we humans rush by, forgetting to notice it anymore. One of the locations was an abandoned ghost town out in the middle of Nowhere Land. I found beauty in discarded, rust-eaten tin cans and metal siding, and nails that had wormed their way through the shrinking lumber used to build homes and storehouses in a bygone era. I felt that if I didn’t snag them in the net of my camera lens, they might deteriorate and vanish before my very eyes.

The sagebrush was more healthy than the dilapidated buildings.

As I walked among the ruins, I felt the presence of those who suffered to make a living off the land. I felt their joy of survival and their sorrow of having to leave it all behind when the land could no longer support their growing needs. They had no choice but to move on. It held treasures – the kind you can’t buy – and a lesson all its own – that it only shared with those who were willing to stop by, listen, and read its worn pages as their feet walked where settlers once walked.  I plan to partake in antiquish wisdom more often.

Maybe a bit of carpe diem lifeism inspired by “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” has rubbed off on me? Maybe it’s been there with me all along?  Maybe Persephone’s been gathering forks among the ruins of Hades’ cavern and the shiny stuff is floating to the surface? Maybe…

“Beautiful Things Don’t Ask for Attention”
~ James Thurber, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Maybe they just wait, quietly, to be discovered.

Only then, can it truly be appreciated for its worth.  A thought worth sharing, as I try blowing out the candles on another birthday cake that can’t be extinguished because of the dragon at the top of it.

Photos from “Yesteryear”


Winter Humor Pictures:

“Look here, McGinnis – hundreds of bright copper kettles, warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with string… Someone was after a few of this guy’s favorite things.”

“The ever-popular Donner Party snow dome”