Monday, October 15, 2007


My aching back

I spent some of the weekend digging a big trench in the ground by a stone wall in the yard and planting around a hundred daffodil and narcissus bulbs, and some crocuses for good measure. Then composted and mulched on top so the bulbs will have a happy winter and hopefully a terrific spring. I remember in one of Douglas Coupland's novels his lovelorn main character plants bulbs in the fall in his ex-girlfriend's lawn, spelling out her name, or the word love or some such thing. I think it was in Shampoo Planet. Nice... Next I harvested the remaining vegetables from the garden - carrots, what I think are golden beets (or possibly turnip? I did not plant this garden, we inherited it from the previous owner of our new - old - house, bless her), the last of the tomatoes, one still-small zucchini and an acorn squash, and out of the herb bed, the last of the basil and some sage. I thought there'd finally be a frost last night, but no - we must have been just a degree or two away, it was cold. Anytime now, though. I'll tell you, it's been a long time since I wielded a shovel and rake for any length of time, and around twenty years since I put in a full day in a garden. It sure does feel great to lay my hands on something living and real, I come in from the garden and my hands are dirty (and sometimes my feet, if it's been a warm day and I'm shoeless) and I feel like a kid again, on my parents' tiny organic farm. This morning though, a bit of an achy back.

However, I am not as achy as my husband Ryan, who ran the Mount Desert Island marathon yesterday. His time - 3:16:22. Spectacular race - cool and partly cloudy, not much wind, six or seven hundred finishers. I was in the team car with extra Gu gel (ugh) and water and clothes and sunglasses and spare running shoes, and met Ryan at four different places on the course, to see what he needed, and also just to watch him fly by (and do some yelling from the sidelines). Many thanks to our pal Brian who ran with him from miles seventeen to twenty-two or so - what a difference it makes to have a friend to pace with, someone fresh who is really with you stride for stride. Brian also welcomed us at his house before the cold 8 a.m. race start, with a warm woodstove and munchies and good company. Thanks... We stopped at a greenhouse on the way home to buy more mulch and then came home and fell sleep early (right after the Patriots game). We both slept for eleven hours. I was too tired to read a single page before bed - which is saying a lot. All in all a great weekend - it's trite to say that watching marathoners run and finish is inspiring, but my god, it really is.

Back in the shop this morning, thinking about running, and daffodils. Books, not so much.

I plan to drive by your house when your daffodills are in bloom next spring. What a glorious sight they will be after a Maine winter!

I moved the last of the potted herbs into the house this weekend. I will enjoy their company in the grey days ahead, but they will sulk a little.

Dave spent the weekend replacing a section of roof on the house. Poor ol' house-we have neglected it while we built the book shop. Dave wasn't looking too flexible this morning!
T"he best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes,
flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you.
Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes,
certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life."
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Redburn (landlocked in Colordo!)
Vicky, you can even come visit, don't just drive by... I do hope the bulbs come up - planting anything this time of year is truly a leap of faith.

Thanks for the sweet verse, Red - sure do love that RLS.
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