Archive for December 17th, 2007

In my morning cruise around blogland, I stopped by Hallie’s site and she introduced me to a beautiful young lady named Laura.  

Laura is keeping a blog on her efforts to make a difference each day leading to Christmas, and honestly, I can’t think of a better Advent calendar than that.  [Although Abby wanted me to say that, while Laura’s Advent calendar is more in keeping with the season, her puppy Advent calendar is tastier.]

Please go check out Laura’s site and leave her an encouraging comment, not just to recognize her efforts, but to encourage yourself to look for ways you can make a difference each day.

Good work, Laura.  Good work.

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Time speeds up in December

Are there actually fewer hours in the month of December, or am I the only one who suspects that…?  I mean, come on, already! I’ve got ten thousand things to do and nine more days to get them done!

Here’s the quick recap of the weekend: Friday, I celebrated my anniversary with Tony (17 years!) by meeting him for dinner, doing some shopping together, and baking cookies.  Oh, and I decorated my house.  Here’s a bit of friendly advice to any young lovers out there in blogland:  Don’t expect to have quiet, intimate anniversaries if you get married ten days before Christmas!  But there are advantages, as I’ll get to later. 

Anniversary pupsOh, and here’s what Tony brought home for our anniversary!

Yeah, sure, it ain’t DeBeers, but I can see a lot of our relationship reflected in those magnetic-nosed kissing pups, and I loved it!  We don’t need expensive gifts to express our love….and a good thing that is, too.

Saturday, we celebrated my mother’s birthday, and I continued to decorate the house and bake cookies.  The ironic thing is that Saturday was our anniversary, and Friday was my mother’s birthday!  But since we just couldn’t manage to get our schedules worked out, we just rearranged the calendar a bit. 

So, if you’ve been feeling a bit like your Friday was really a Saturday, and that Saturday felt like Friday all over again, you can blame us. 

Because I had baked some cookies, done a little shopping, and decorated the house, my seasonal to-list was down to a more manageable 9, 997 things to get done in nine days!  I was making real progress!  In fact, I felt so accomplished, I put down my decorating/knitting/baking and went to spend the day with my grandparents.

Today, winter arrived in North Georgia!  Brrrrr.  The high was 37 degrees, but with the blustery wind it seemed much more like 27, and temperatures tonight are expected to be around 25.  Since there’s nothing in the garden right now but greens, lettuces, radishes, and turnips, there also isn’t a lot of work to be done.  Grandpa and I drained the water from the irrigation hoses, and ran the tractors for a few minutes to warm them up.  Then, we decided that the very best way to spend the day would be to look at seed catalogs and think of spring.

I think I learned more in those four hours about gardening in the South than I did in the whole summer.  Together we went through the catalogs page by page, while I read him the descriptions and he told me about his experiences with this cultivar or that variety.  Which tomatos do best early, which will set more fruit in the heat, which cataloupes will last the longest after picking, how to plant asparagus…the only thing that would have made that shared time better would have been a tape recorder.  How will I ever remember the collected wisdom of 85 years? 

And the best part of all was that, because I put down my extensive task list in favor of spending time with my grandfather, he gave me a wonderous gift that never gets old. 

Between the plant knowledge and the weather lore, Grandpa managed to fill the gaps with glimpses at his past, my family’s past…my past.  Every time I talk to him, I see our lives revealed like the restoration of a ancient church frieze.  You can already see that it’s a rich canvas of rare beauty, but the smoke and oil of time have besmirched it and darkened the colors.  But slowly, in small increments, the soot is cleaned away to expose the bold and vivid brushstrokes of the Master Artist. 

And on a frosty winter day in 2007, while reading professional grower’s catalogs, my Grandfather told me the story of how, because of a frosty winter night in 1950, he got out of the professional grower’s business and went to work for the railroad in the job that later severely injured him, allowing him to retire early on a reliable railroad pension.  So he could return to the business of growing things, and teach his granddaughter to cultivate the land, and rest on the frosty winter days.

Look, Grandpa –  the Master Artist painted a cyclorama, and called it life.

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