Thursday, June 21, 2007

Like onions for gladiolas

At the end of last year the fur kids and I moved from the mountains of SW Colorado (8,000 feet) to the mountains of NW North Carolina (3,000). What a trip, in more ways than 12. I rented the only house that made any sense that I was able to view on a 48-hour, whirlwind trip here just prior. Must Find Home. Fast. It rained the entire time I was here so I never once saw the sky or even much of a tree line anywhere in the town. It was only after living here for a few weeks, and finally "landing" here, emotionally and psychically, that I fully realized how amazing these 9 acres that I rent truly are.

As the rental agent would tell me, the owners had "too much time on their hands" when living here, as evidenced (to him) by their fruit and vegetable garden efforts. But when I factored in all of the interesting old animal hutches and pens down the hill, I concluded that they are closeted End Times Freaks, which I am currently very much aspiring to be. Perhaps this home is nurturing and reigniting that relatively-dormant-since-Y2K streak in me? I stockpiled a lot of shit for Y2K, most especially anti-bacterial handi-wipes. Hell to me is not being able to wash my hands every 4 seconds. Having learned that when the electricity goes off here (often), so do the well and septic, I am now hoarding anti-bacterial handi-wipes again, along with plastic jugs of water for washing and flushing. Not to be co-mingled with the filtered ones for drinking.

One night in 2000 it was clear that we had escaped the clutches of the Y2K beast and I was experiencing severe blood sugar lows. (A more honest person of integrity would just say "drunk".) After downing a fabulous bottle of California Pinot Noir, I broke into my very stale trail bar stash, and then I broke a $1,000 veneer off my tooth. For that reason alone, my End Times Stash will include no trail bars, over-cooked Atkins frozen pizzas, or rice cakes topped with peanut butter, all proven mortal enemies of porcelain veneers in the years following. And I doubt that many cosmetic, restorative dentists will be in practice once the End Times are upon us. Surely they will be raptured first so there will be plentiful pearly whites inside the pearly gates. There are no bad teeth in heaven.

Anyway, Mr. Homeowner's job pulled them down to Florida and they now find themselves with two mortgages -- reluctant landlords who dream of retiring back up here, happily self-sustaining among their flora and fauna.

Over the months I've discovered not only the multitude of blooming trees and shrubs that grow wild in this area, but also a number of very beautiful bulb flowers that were planted around the home. Tulip, daffodil, lilies of various colors and species. Muy gorgeousio. Always something new in bloom. As I watched the edible treats come up, I found strawberries, raspberries, grapes and blackberries. I'm hoping that the blackberries, still to ripen, will bear decent fruit. Because I'm not tending the gardens one bit, the other berries have been a bit disappointing. I know I disappoint them as well.

The vegetable beds were a trip! A few tiny heads of stunted lettuce came up and I did eat a few leaves one night. I was able to identify mint and chives, but am not clear on what another large patch of most plentiful herbs truly is. One morning after my walk I glanced up to see an asparagus spear sticking straight up out of the ground! Never in my life had I seen one grow, or even a photo of one growing, apparently. I had no idea that they look, in the ground, exactly like they do in the market, but are not bundled in two places with thick, blue rubber bands. Now...if you let them go a week longer, they morph into four foot trees that look a lot like asparagus ferns! Imagine my surprise. And then there were these spear shaped leaves that poked up even before spring, on level one in the veggie/herb portion of the terrace. I was certain they were some foreign species of Southern onion. I pulled two, just to see how they were progressing, and due to their puny size, decided not to slice them for salad toppings. I pretty much forgot about them over the last month, blind-sided and devastated by the unexpected and heart-breaking death of my favorite feline companion, soul mate, Beloved Tubbo Walter.

So I was doing the dishes yesterday morning, hypnotically fixated on the garden, as I am wont to do. Two tiny orange blooms on one of the "onion" stalks knocked my ass right out of my reverie. For Christ's sake! GLADIOLAS. It never occurred to me that there might be more bulb flowers in that bed! I had salad fixings all over my mind. I felt very stupid, although I shouldn't have, knowing myself to be the bumbling savant I often feel myself to be in this lifetime in certain areas. I have my abundant areas of special talent and extreme giftedness, of course, but most days they bow in humiliated subservience to my regions of vast lameitude and buffoonishness. I am truly deserving of a front seat on the special bus in certain arenas. Many arenas.

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