Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shifting Gears and Gasing Up

Seasons change.  I not only know that, I look forward to it.  One of Iowa's celebrative features is its seasonal diversity -- four of them, each unique and delicious in its own way.  Yes, even winter.  In addition to its own intrinsic wonder and introspective beauty, there is no more beautiful spring than one that follows a particularly bitter winter.  In future years, as this gardening project develops and becomes more familiar, I know that late autumn and the settling frost of winter will be welcomed respite from the exertions of the summer field. 

But we have just gotten here.  I have mowed a grand total of twice -- only just completed the greenhouse and cleared the space that will be my inaugural garden.  We have, after all, been unpacking and reorganizing and hanging pictures and baking for the open house -- vastly more pressing pursuits.  And only now for the most part on the "settled" side of those demands, it seems too soon -- and almost unfair -- to shift our attention to winter; never mind that our bodies are over-weary from the unusual demands and physicality of the move.  Knees and ankles and muscles seem imprisoned in perpetual ache, no doubt looking forward to the more sedentary pages of the calendar.  And it will be pure delight to nestle into the sofa in front of the newly serviced fireplace and listen to the icy wind howl and watch, through the windows, the flakes fall and drift. 

We moved here, though, to garden -- to open the soil and tend it and beckon out of it something edible and nourishing and good, and springtime seems a long time to wait. 

But we don't get to decide.  The leaves have fallen and the temperature is following in kind.  The foreshadowings of winter are insinuating themselves more and more.  And so we have officially made the switch.  With the help of kind and sympathizing friends, the mower deck has been disengaged and parked; replaced with the snowblower that sits ready and, if I can anthropomorphize a bit, eager.  Lori's prerequisite for entertaining this crazy idea was that I get her out of the driveway on snowy mornings.  Having, then, honored her side of the idea by moving here, I am ready to honor mine.  So, bring on the snow.  I'm prepared.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Eventually the Seeds

"So are you gardening yet?" 
Right.  We moved a scant two weeks ago and neither of us has scarcely done anything beyond unboxing and trying to find a place to nest the contents.  But we are making progress.  Even the guest room could accommodate visitors as long as they packed a modicum of toleration.  We've even begun considering which piece might accent which blank wall.  And we did plant fruit trees yesterday -- two apples, two plums, and two apricots that were birthday gifts from my kids; affectionately indulgent, even if they can't fathom what their crazy father has done with his livelihood. 

And for two days, Larry and Shirley have devoted themselves to the assembly of my 10' X 12' X 8' greenhouse.  The YouTube video made it look like a snap, but having consumed a collective 50 hours of labor to only get us as far as the frame, I take some issue with their attestation.  Thankfully, they have the grit to return tomorrow to hopefully see the project completed. 

Regardless of the pace, it is all underway -- the land, the house, the trees and the opportunity.  Eventually the boxes will be behind us, and the seeds will be in front of us.