Well, I tried to be the slightest bit productive today and I did reach that goal- I was absolutely the slightest bit productive. I decided to go through books and cull some. The little free library down the road has been looking sad with the same books in it for weeks now. The books on that table are some of the ones I've decided to donate, either to that little library or to some place that will appreciate them. I also had a short pile of books that really just need to go into the trash- things like old nursing school textbooks that are completely outdated by now. And I did a little dusting as I went. If you look carefully, you can see that Jack was overseeing my process. The things on the little piece of furniture there in the back corner are some camping kitchen items that Mr. Moon won at a duck hunting association dinner a few weeks ago. I think they're going to Jessie and Vergil as they actually go camping.
I took some of the books to the take-one/leave-one library and spent about ten minutes, trying to Jenga all of them in. I have no idea if anyone who passes that thing will be interested in the least in any of them. I put a few kids' books in there too. I hardly ever see children on my walks but there may be some grandmas or grandpas who'd like a nice book about trucks or a Mother Goose to read to their babies. It sort of tore my heart a little bit, getting rid of those books. Remember how much Levon adored books about trucks and heavy machinery? And let's face it- there are children's books that will be with me when I die because I just cannot bear to let them go. To hold them in my hands is to remember reading to children I love, cuddled up next to me. Whether to my own children or to my grandchildren- those moments have been among the very happiest of my life.
I went out to the garden today to pick a salad and while I was nipping arugula leaves with my thumb nail, I glanced up to see these pretty little plants. They are the sugar snap peas I planted a few weeks ago that I thought were never going to come up. I'd used old seeds from last year (and possibly ones from the year before) and I'd soaked them overnight, planted them, and checked them daily for awhile but there were no signs of any of them breaking ground.
Well. The unwatched pot finally boiled, I guess. I was so cheered to see them. This is the first time I've ever planted peas in the fall. The traditional time to plant them around here is Valentine's Day but we get freezes in February and March sometimes and I've never seen my tender little plants die with the cold temperatures so...why not?
I am looking forward to my salad tonight. I had to wash the greens three times because yesterday's rain splashed dirt up onto the leaves but I think I got them cleaned. They are resting in a dish towel in the refrigerator, waiting to be torn and combined in a bowl with tomatoes and cucumbers, garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. I'm going to cook some shrimp that I had in the freezer, too. Quite honestly, my soup last night was so surprisingly delicious that I really enjoyed it and even ate some more turkey for lunch. I guess I'm not quite sick unto death of it yet.
A little while ago as the day was beginning to fade into nighttime, I flashed back on how I felt years and years ago when Hank and May were little and I lived down the road from where I live now, in a little house in the woods. I was still married to my first husband and those twilight hours were the worst for me. I was generally alone with the children because my husband would go to town around midday to teach guitar and then go to band rehearsal and would often be gone into the very wee hours. It was hard for me, those long, long days and evenings, even though I adored my children and I loved my house and I had my garden. I had friends and we did visit back and forth, but never in the evenings. That was suppertime, a time to be with family. And some of my friends' husband were also in my ex's band so they were home with their children.
I can remember feeling so alone, so desolate. There was no internet, of course, to keep me entertained or give me a sense of online community. Hell, our TV only got three channels and that was if we were lucky. I had books. I did all sorts of needlework, sewing clothes for my kids, making baby quilts for babies coming soon, crocheted afghans, did embroidery, wrote letters. Because we lived in Jefferson County and almost everyone I knew lived in Leon County, calling a friend often meant paying long distance charges. Remember those? We didn't have a lot of money to spare. And one of the worst parts of it all, was knowing that I had no idea when my husband would be home or where he would be when rehearsal had ended and he didn't come home for hours. For so many years I was the absolute Queen of Denial.
I knew but I didn't want to know.
Things are so different now. When my husband goes away, even for days at a time, I know what he's doing. And I have this community which is so precious to me. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I could could have been a mommy blogger then. I think it would have been tremendously helpful. And at this point in my life, I love being alone. I feel safe alone. I feel like a lady of leisure. I can mess around in my (MY!) library, I can sit and knit and watch TV. I eat whatever I want. I can read in bed until I can't keep my eyes open any longer. And I know that if I need someone, some THING, I can call my children and they will be here for me. But most of all, I know that my husband will be home and that there will be hugs and love and someone to take care of and someone to take care of me and that is what I never even dared to dream of.
Lord, I do ramble when the man is gone and I feel no time constraints when it comes to getting supper on the table. Forgive me.