Got up, went to the kitchen then out the back door, and the first thing I heard was Sandhill cranes. I yelled a hearty “good morning!” and came in and made coffee, fed the dogs, made my breakfast. The BEST start to the day.
Yesterday it rained. Real rain. For hours. There are muddy dog tracks on the pads all over the carpet and I am so happy about it. Teddy and I went out to the Refuge to enjoy the humidity and comparative cool. The air was fragrant with clover, alfalfa, hay and chamisa. A guy was standing on a rock in our parking spot taking pictures. I pulled in and he smiled the biggest smile. Pretty much everyone I saw yesterday was happy. Quite a change. A great way to celebrate the arrival of September.
Last year the weather predicted freezing or below freezing temps for the second week in September. My beans were at the same place they are now — mature and gorgeous with pods near but not quite ripe. The forecast got even weirder in the ensuing days — snow. SNOW??? Yep. We got more than a foot (22 cm) and my main preoccupation (in a year of preoccupations) was saving my beans which had grown to be over 10 feet tall. I kind of succeeded and harvested seeds for the remarkable beings I’ve grown this year. This year, there is no such grim prognostication. It looks like September as usual. The beans should make it into October scot free.
Living in an agricultural area a person gets a different view of seasons than in the city, especially different from a city in Southern California. Yesterday as I drove to The Big City to pick up my groceries I watched a man turning over his hayfield. Everything had been mown and the season was over. He and his tractor slowly pulled the discs through the field, turning the bare soil to the top. Mulching. I thought he must have been glad for a cloudy, cool day to do the job and by the time the rain really came, his field would have been turned. A good thing. On the way to the Refuge I saw rolls and bales of harvested hay, ready to sell, ready for winter feed. Starlings lined up on fence wires.
My plumber’s words, “If we can’t be nice to each other, what’s the point of living?” are always present in my mind. They are pretty much the philosophy I moved here with. The past few years have challenged that, but really, should our inner motivations be shoved off course by the idiot vicissitudes of, uh, idiots? They will be, but I think it’s important to fight against that.
After my drive past the farms and fields between my town and The Big City, I arrived at City Market and called in to pick up my groceries. Soon, in the rearview mirror,I saw the young woman who very often brings out my groceries — Desiree — approaching with a cart. I’m always very happy to see her because she’s funny, kind and spontaneous. I hopped out of the car and waved. She waved, grinned, and approached more quickly. “Did you go over your substitutions?” she asked. I’ve kind of obviated that whole thing by putting on my order substitutions I’m happy with.
“I didn’t know there were any.”
“Yeah, we didn’t have that size bag of m&ms so we had to give you a bigger one.” She looked apologetic.
“How’s that bad?” I laughed.
“Oh a lot of customers would be angry.”
“Seriously. I can understand being angry at getting more broccoli but more m&m’s?” Desiree gets my humor.
We loaded up my car and I looked at her, thinking that people could actually be ANGRY at this girl (I’m not virtue signaling here…). “Desiree,” I said, “We’ve been hanging out, what, a year or so now?”
“I’m always happy to see you. You really brighten my day.”
“Oh Miss Martha me too. I love your smile and sense of humor.”
So there you go. Waiting for the beans to mature and give me beans (yum), and watching the crops growing in the field during summer which seems to last forever and ever and ever, filled with deer flies and thunder, and then, suddenly, the potatoes have been stunned (long story) before the harvest — I thought, “This life thing goes so fast and yet so slowly. Then it’s over and some machine goes through the field and digs up the root crops.”