Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Sunday, October 31, 2004


Slay your dragons with compassion
Do it in your tribal dance
-Kenny Young
from the Gentlemen Without Weapons album Transmissions

A transmission transmits motive power from an engine to wheels. I'm not sure what to make of that, but it's what the dictionary says.
Yesterday I put the third transmission in the truck in as many years. The first one died on RM's driveway three years ago, the second one was a bit sketchy from the time I got it, but junkyarded transmissions are kinda buyer beware anyway, and the third - well, I'll let you know how it does. The point is: I've got to be in Texas in less than a week, and for the third year in a row I find myself swapping transmissions mere days before departure. Alas. And I'm running around caulking windows and cleaning chimneys and a dozen other last minute things, because summer turns into fall turns into winter, and the farming season is over, and I need to do something to make ends meet when I've no vegetables to sell, and so I'm going to Texas.
That being said, here's a litany of transmission woes: the new blue truck - three times in three years / the old blue truck, still running like a champ, but with a new tranny rumble that's just a little ominous /J*'s Subaru, still unfixed (dammit) and in a shop in Asheville / C*'s truck, ah, but that was long ago, in mid-summer, and as of now, runs (!) / the rototiller, just a small one, I know, but it deserves it's place on the list, and, because she deserves mention, A*'s truck, kinda rumbling along, reverse sometimes, and sometimes not.
What to make of this I do not know - a collection of transmission woes that has descended upon my life recently, seemingly from out of nowhere.
The only conclusion I am able to reach is that I am having trouble changing. I'm having trouble switching to the right speeds, having trouble getting power to my rear end (as it were.) The subtle hints the universe has provided me with in the past went completely unnoticed, and the powers that be decided to drop all of this on me so I'd notice.
Just what am I to make of all this?
With the new blue truck, I waver between replacing the guts with a brand new, custom made unit geared specifically for the mountains, for only a few thousand dollars, or sticking with the tried and true Saginaw 3 speed that's in there now, rock solid, heavy as a boat anchor and older than me (and about $75.) It occurs to me that I run the farm, if not my life, in the same way: hoping to someday get the fancy stuff that I'm convinced is going to make everything easier and make me happy, but in the meantime trudging along with stuff that's too old, too heavy, too unreliable. I continue to say to myself that the next time some old piece of junk breaks, I'm gonna fix it right, finally, and get things running like the oft mentioned Swiss clock. And the next time something breaks I crawl underneath it with duct tape and baling wire and try to get it to hold together again for another year ('cause next time it breaks ....) And here I am, once again patching the truck back together, once again patching up an old rotting chimney, once again caulking the same broken windows, to once again seek my fortune in Texas to once again come back and get the farm off on the right foot. And once again thinking about all the new fancy stuff that would enable me to do it right, if only I had it ....
I have no solution. I am not sure that I am supposed to have one. Though that the universe should send me a wake-up call that's proven to be such a pain in the ass but without some obvious solution seems cruel and uncaring.
No, there's a God somewhere, and He keeps breaking all the transmissions around me for a reason. If only He'd reveal Himself to me, like a genie rising in a cloud of smoke from a can of 90 weight oil, and let me know what the answer is.
Or do I overestimate Him? Is the message not so subtle and transcendent as I imagine? Is it straight forward and obvious? Is it staring me in the face. In other words, is He, in his ultimate wisdom, merely telling me to get my ass in gear?

Semper Fi

A fiddle contest was fixed in West Virginia a few years ago. It didn't matter what the judges said; the organizers wanted the local guy to win and win he did. This tale of corruption has gnawed at me since I learned of it, just days ago.
Once again, the tiny little universe that I safely ensconce myself into has been shattered, and I, naked and vulnerable, must reassess. Could it possibly be that everything I think is not always right?
My friend's cousin's ex-husband (follow that?) is just back from Iraq. He was a Marine for a few years, then worked for the U.N. in some capacity, and is now one of those bodyguards over there that we read about. He's also a ganja smoking Dead Head who surfs. Go figure.
So there I am trying to make sense of what he is saying, placing everything he says in my own narrow context, formed, mostly, by the liberal media. He's talking about encounters with Iraqi children; everyday life in Baghdad; "acceptable loses", Saddam's heavy-handed sons; and his opinions, good and bad, of the American bureaucrats running things over there. He's well informed, experienced, and doesn't for a moment pretend to have all the right answers.
The own thoughts had their usual eloquence: It's wrong. We should leave them alone. The President's an idiot.
It took me longer than I care to admit to figure out that I have no idea what's going on over there, that maybe no one does, and that it's all more complicated than I ever thought.
That's not a situation I deal with very well. I function a lot better when I have all the answers. I'm shocked, truly shocked(!), to learn that I can't always pigeonhole the people and events around me.
But I rest, now, with the certainty that these are isolated events. Surely the world is as predictable as I usually assume. Examples of fixed fiddle contests and the war in Iraq are aberrant, anomalies that pop up from time to time but certainly don't represent the greater reality. How could I possibly be wrong about such things ....

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Our Lady of the Cell Tower

My Tupperware collection is growing, in no small thanks to Jesus.
After market yesterday, I went down to the BIG farmer's market with A* to help buy a truckload of pumpkins. A*'s having an ex-pig-pickin'-become chili-cookoff/Halloween party next week, and she wanted to buy a truckload of pumpkins for people to carve. From there we went to the Jupiter Thrift Store, just off the Jupiter Exit of I-26. I'd never been there, and I asked A* for directions.
"You know where it is," she said. "The old Jupiter school? Where they have the cell tower shaped like a cross?"
I knew the cross. You can see it from Johnson City. It turns out the prime spot for the cell tower was on church property, and the faithful told the cell tower company they could only build it if it was in the shape of a cross. With giant spotlights at the bottom.
I therefore found the place with no difficulty, and A* and I shopped for Halloween costume components. And in the process I managed to find three (!) pieces of Tupperware, all in prime condition. They cleaned up pretty well, and I've got them in the display case next to the Tupperware I got for Christmas.
From there it was back to A*s place, where we unloaded to pumpkins and I inspected the grill. The what was left of the hurricane way back when dumped a ton of sand and river stone in A*s garden, and she and her boyfriend built a chili grill.
I'll be there next Saturday. and I'll be there with a pot of my secret recipe chili. It's the end of the season, and A*s pig-pigskin'/chili cookoff has been the traditional end of season ritual for as long as I've been around here. Jesus will be there, too, high up on the hill, talking to whoever will listen.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Virtual Midwifery

I'm feeling much better, now, after a difficult and confusing delivery.
But I am pleased to announce the arrival of my bouncing baby blog, delivered just a few days ago in the living room of my beloved mid-wife, RM.
I went into labor, as fate would have it, on my nephew's birthday, and was hoping for an easy delivery despite having spent the morning watching two year olds attempting homicide on each other.
But I did it! And, believe it or not, I did it naturally! No drugs involved at all, though my thoughts seemed to drift in that general direction on those occasions when I had to pick out a color.
And while I can't make the same claim at this present time to describe my overall mental condition, I am happy to now be making my first official post. The blog is cantankerous and whiney sometimes, but mostly it just sleeps. Some say it has my eyes.
This first foray into cyberspace (if not the 21st Century) was, as said, nobly delivered by RM, who not only coaxed me through a mind-bending transition but fed me chili and dandelion wine afterwards. I can't thank you enough, for blog dulaing and a million other things ....
It might be a funny looking little blog with all the odds against it, but it came into the world with wonderful, wonderful neighbors.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

First Post

We just want to go on.

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