Far be it for me to complain about the beautiful weather we have been enjoying. It is, however, making it difficult to get into the Christmas spirit. I set out on Sunday to whip together a couple of wreaths but transplanted some lettuce seedlings instead. Then I got sidetracked weeding. Amazingly, the weeds are still going strong. I hated to take apart my window box to dress it up with some holiday greens. The purple alyssum and white bacopa still looked great.
I cannot figure out if I’m ahead or behind. This has been the ongoing dilemma of my life. I have yet to do the fall cleanups of the perennial beds but I’ve weeded and composted several areas in the vegetable garden in preparation for spring planting.
The Callery pears are still holding onto their leaves. The one on the corner of the First Baptist Church is particularly nice. I have one in my garden that I intended to move into the yard about 10 years ago. Now it’s too big to move and too lovely to cut down. Guess I’ll have to remove the sun-loving plants around it instead. It’s remarkable the speed at which things get away from me. Isn’t there something about a road to a well-known place paved with good intentions?
I’m reading a fun book. My friend and colleague at the Gazette, Lauren Martin, gave it to me. She, her husband, Mike Seccombe, and children are headed off this week to start a new life in Australia. Lauren was so good-natured the last five years. She picked up this column from my house and had to sort out my not-too-perfect handwriting every week.
Where was I, oh yes, the book. It is called Blithe Tomato written by Mike Madison and it is a portrait of growers at a West Coast farmers’ market. In the forward, written by Deborah Madison, the reader is encouraged to focus on “the implications that our food choices have, not only for the pleasures of the table but for the quality of life that revolves around good, small-scale food production.”
Each chapter in the book introduces the reader to one of the author’s fellow growers. Some are extremely likable while others wouldn’t be invited over for supper. The author talks about the hard work and low pay. He mentions B. F. Skinner’s Walden Two. In that utopia, citizens earn credits according to the onerousness of the tasks they perform. Gardening was awarded hardly any credit as it was judged to be too pleasurable. The author notes that his rewards of truck farming are not financial. But, as he says, he works at home in comfortable old clothes. No commute, no necktie; that alone is worth ten thousand a year and defrays the cost of the produce. I highly recommend the book.
Along the theme of remarkably warm weather, my forsythia is blooming. One wonders what spring will bring.
On one of Violet’s and my many trips to Wing Road in Oak Bluffs, to enjoy the Gatchell Christmas decorations, we passed the Oak Bluffs firehouse. They have a row of white lit trees along the split rail fence. The lights highlight all the roses still in bloom. We also have enjoyed the faux trees in Ocean Park. Oak Bluffs did a very tasteful display. We also admired the floating tree in Sunset Lake.
How is it possible that Herman Cain’s fall from grace, if you will, for an extramarital affair elevated that serial adulterer, Newt Gingrich? For starters, the man has an elephantine ego. I take offense at his working-poor children comments. Do not misunderstand me. I’m all for teenagers working and have always given chores to my little children and grandchildren. It was his inference that poor children’s parents don’t work. It takes two minimum wage jobs several years to make what he makes for one narcissistic speech to a “think tank.”
I can’t wait to see the debate moderated by, of all people, Donald Trump. I love that Jon Huntsman refuses to attend. He commented that he will not kiss the Donald’s ring. Too bad Huntsman is polling so badly. He’s the only adult in the G.O.P. sideshow.