Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Brain somewhere else

This was the second day in a row my tiny nearly 19-year old baby took me outside and made me work. She thinks there is nothing to do in NH. There is a certain truth to this, which is one reason I like it here, but anyway I asked if she would like a garden of her own and to my pleased surprise, she does. Vegetables, because she cooks seriously. I tried to give her a magic childhood in the suburb where we lived for most of her life, but the closest she and her brother ever got to being interested in the garden was when I would send them out to eat blueberries off the bushes.

This time, she is taking a serious interest, to the point of asking whether I would like her to mattock off some of the turf since it was supposed to be her garden. She made a decent effort; it is not her fault that my misspent adulthood has left me more of a mattock-wielder than she is ever likely to be (though like all mothers, I cherish hope). She shows promise with the shovel. Yesterday we ignored the blackflies and took off about two square meters of turf. There are rocks in New Hampshire. We have a good supply. I expressed mild surprise and she reminded me that they called it something, what was it, beginning with G? Granite State?

Today we forked it over and removed some really fine specimens, some of them about the diameter of two footballs. We broke up the clods. We emptied a bag of composted cow manure over the clay and she raked it in. Then we planted tomatoes, bell and habanero (she's a masochist) peppers, parsley, and eggplant seedlings and lettuce and radish seeds. We watered.

Then I dug the easiest hole in my career; the Fates want that cherry tree there. I was allowed to dig it round, as big as I wanted to, and quite deep, without measuring it, taking it out in 10 cm chunks, or screening the results. When I did hit rocks, I was allowed to pry them out of the side. Not like archaeology at all. Since the house site was essentially bulldozed out of the side of an esker 29 years ago, I don't have to worry about finding anything.

It's supposed to rain on and off for the next NINE days, which might drown the blackflies.

I had hoped I would come up with meaningful remarks about the NH Sheep and Wool Festival if I waited a while, but apparently not. I was actually il for about five days, including that weekend; I still have some allergy going on but not the sore throat or the complete inability to focus I had

Probably one of the nicest moments for me at the NHS&W was when someone was buying 2 oz of Baby Camel and Merino and remarked that I had taught her to spin last year to The Canterbury Shaker Village Wool Day. The ruination got hold of her. This year she is demonstrating her Great Wheel there.

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