Saturday, December 15, 2012

Studies in cold

I sit at my desk with dogs at my feet, comfortable within the protection of my small house. Outside, a beautiful unseasonably warm winter afternoon. I spent the day tending to some things in the garden and the afternoon cutting a dead pecan tree into manageable pieces for the stove. It was close if not 65 degrees out. There have been many days that cutting wood was done in heavy carhartts and thick sweaters, but it was nice having just a sweatshirt, jeans and a baseball hat. I try not to think about the weather as much as I used to. I keep updated on forecasts and such but I no longer am so obsesssed with wind speed, direction, and  hourly humidity. Things change so rapidly from one day to the next that I just have to throw up my arms and surrender. What will be will be.

Last Sunday night as expected the temperatures fell into the 20s. During the day Linda and I harvested vegetables for our CSA and made sure all of the rows were covered with fabric row covers that will protect the crops from frost damage, most of these crops are winter hearty and can freeze solid and still be fine unless frost hits them. The broccoli rabe was so tall the covers wouldn't fit over it so we had to harvest as much as we had time for and say goodbye to the rest which broke my heart because it was so beattiful, but there was no more time, it was getting dark and we were getting very cold.

The next day, the broccoli rabe was badly beaten. I knew it would be and wasn't concerned, I had agreed to let it go. The next three nights temps dipped down into the 20's along with high winds, which is unusual at night. The sound of the wind wisling through the tree branches and distant howls of coyotes made the night to be just short of a snow storm. The fire in the stove was cranked up high and still only kept the yurt just above 65. (I like it around 75) . we both bundled up with our books. In the morning once once the ice crystals melted off the grass I went out to the garden to find that the west end of the greenhouses had been blown to hell and were just flapping there amongst 2000 sq feet of dead vegetables, not only that but some of the crop covers had been blown of leaving swaths of dead beets, turnips and greens. what was left under the covers fared well but the loss was epic. I stood out there in utter disbelief .

I accepted what happened pretty fast and had a plan in place with in seconds, before the shame, self doubt, feelings of failure could set in. I would repair the green houses and replant for a early march harvest of carrots and greens. Whats out in the feild is enough to get me through two more deliveries. I can sprout and grow micro greens and I will just have to let the CSA members know what happened. I called Linda who was a work to give her a report. Immediately Linda was preforming triage on my fragile situation and a few minutes of her telling me it was going to be okay I interrupted her by saying "I'm really okay" "you are?" she asked . "Yes, I am"

The truth of the matter is, this is small potatoes. I can re plant I can make due, And in light of bigger tragedies I'll save my energy. I'm not a parent, but I'm a daughter, an aunt, a sister, a cousin and even though I do not have children of my own, I also grieve and feel a deep profound sadness for the loved ones and families in the terrible nightmare in Connecticut. So tonight I count my blessings and feel the tenderness of care for those around me and far away, I promise to smile at strangers (In a un- threatening way) be kind, and not be governed by fear so I may not find these things possible.
I shall plant the fields, hoe the weeds and keep close to me my lessons of the cold.

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