Friday, March 09, 2007

Garden Time... at last!

Yesterday I took advantage of my peculiar travel schedule (more later) and stayed home to get a start on my garden. I also took advantage of the slight ease of back pain to turn over four rows the old fashioned way. That's spade by spade. I also managed to pull up some more milkweed and thistle skeletons so that my rows would be equally long. I'm terrible at guessing distances, but I think they were each at least three feet by 25 or 30 feet. Much of my inspiration to just "dig in" rather than waiting for Neighbor Bill's tractor comes from staying at Deborah and Frank's farm outside of Berea. Frank's newly planted pea patch will soon be growing up a trestle that he made from cattle gate/fencing - another source of inspiration. I pulled out an old portable wire closet rack (you know, the self-contained kind that you can use in or out of closet), plopped it over the row where I wanted to plant peas and used it to support a trestle made of the metal pet fencing I'd used to keep the dogs out of the broccoli patch. It looks sort of trashy, but I think it will do the job! I managed to get a row each of beets, turnips and peas planted before calling it a day.

Now you may be wondering about those peculiar travel plans? My alarm went off at 2 AM this morning. I was on the road by 3 AM, on a plane by 6 AM and now I am sitting in a courtyard (circa 1860) just outside the French Quarter in New Orleans, salivating from the fumes of the neigboring Cuban restaurant. Good thing it's lunch time and that getting fed is the first thing on my itenerary!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Goodbyes Are Never Easy

Everytime I leave Judy Branch, I must go through the process of saying goodbye to Bella. My recent schedule has had me spending several nights away from home on a regular basis, and Bella is always uncertain of when I might return. I'm sure it must be unnerving, not knowing if your best buddy, parental unit, significant other, etc. will return in a few hours, a few days or a few weeks. Poor Bella! I think she and the cats have now become accustomed to spending a night or two alone, and I'm hoping that my current travel schedule will ease the disruption of my being in Poland for a month this spring.

This weekend I was faced with saying goodbye, perhaps forever, to a good friend. At the monthly old time jam this Saturday we learned that one of our music buddies was in the hospital with a diagnosis of terminal lung cancer. Even though he's a young 80, it was heartwrenching news. After the jam, eight of us caravaned up to the Pikeville Hospital and brought the old time jam to Rodney's hospital room. I'm not sure who was most affected by this simple gesture - Rodney, his daughter, or us.

My friend Bev and I were talking about how people have so many different lives. Those folks we play music with have families and friends that have no clue who we are. When we showed up at the hospital, we not only gave Rod a treat, we brought some joy (and relief) to his daughter. She finally got to be part of "that" part of his life that she had heard about but never had experienced. At one point she said to her dad, "Now I see why you always want to go down to Whitesburg..." Bev & I agreed that we want our families to know what to do/who to call if anything were to happen to us. "Callin' in the troops," is how we referred to it. If I were to pass before my folks, I'd want them to be comforted by all my music friends showing
up and playing music for/with me, whether it be at my hospital bed or at my wake. There's something about that musical connection that surpasses anything anyone can ever say or do. It's just something you share without any pretense or predjudice.