Full and happy

Los Angeleno by birth, Northwesterner by choice, Second-hander by nature. Librarian, housebound chef, father, and lowly subject ruled over by the needs and whims of a very old house.
Partial to Mexican, Italian and Vietnamese cookery but will eat damn near anything. Collector of many strange things..the result is chaos and anarchy and a very pleasant place to live.
There is pleasure in accumulation, not just "collecting": music, books and film, in all their multi-formated glory. Outsider artists and those kinds of prints you would recognize if you took liberal studies classes in college. Cooking implements and gadgets for recipes still untried or those ventured. Glasses for most types of libations. Flowers in the garden, herbs in the pot.
It's a life of the senses and a good home life reflects that. Walking helps take in all the rest. Requires no special equipment, opens up the pores, brightens the taste buds, clears the decks for further adventures, puts on the miles, widens the eyes and helps fuel the imagination.

Live boldly, play graciously and love with all your heart knowing that true love comes only once or twice in this lifetime. Speaking of which..donde estas, Empress of my Heart?


"Lack imagination and miss the better story" Yann Martel

"Life is a great adventure and I want to say to you, accept it in such spirit. I want to see you face it ready to do the best that lies in you to win out. To go down without complaining and abiding by the result....the worst of all fears is the fear of living." Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

"Not I - not anyone else, can travel that road for you
You must travel it for yourself" Walt Whitman

And above all, friends should possess the rare gift of sitting. They should be able, no, eager, to sit for hours-three, four, six-over a meal of soup and wine and cheese, as well as one of twenty fabulous courses.

Then, with good friends of such attributes, and good food on the board, and good wine in the pitcher, we may well ask,

When shall we live if not now?

-From Serve it Forth,
M.F.K. Fisher

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Joy of sweat

I woke up aching, but I sort of like it that way. I went to bed the night before last and hit the pillow, thinking I would watch a bit of tv but the next thing I know it's Sunday morning. All I can say is that my favorite time of year is here, and that's yard work season!

I can't say that it's been a regular source of fun the last couple of years. In fact I pretty much turned my head away from it all and sort of let my yard become the bum of the neighborhood. More the butt of jokes, an object of derision. I don't know how I couldn't "see" it, as I was walking back and forth to work, seeing the yard both coming and going everyday. I was off somewhere else, apparently, immune to the logic of cut and make pretty. Heck, I even went off to help some gal with her yard to settle a babysitting deal, all the time slighting mine. As my perennials would say, what a jerk.

Well, that's all over with. As Arnold said to himself after the fact, I'm back.

This weekend was a taste of what came before, years before, when those yard work duties blocked out every weekend, and summer vacations were spent taking care of the house. But what is somewhat perverse about that is that I enjoyed it, loved shifting soil, making things look good. The yard, when I bought this house eleven years ago, was a disaster, or least ways, a design that was functional in the eyes of another man. I chalked it up to a absent landlordism and left it at that. Spent the first four years moving railroad timbers, knocking out old and mismanaged shrubbery, putting in rose beds, the like, all the time working on the inside of the house as well.

I am not saying that I am a master gardener or the ultimate handyman. I've seen that kind of action all around me since I've lived here as I have neighbors who really excel in those kinds of things. I am a putterer but I feel I do that kind of thing well. Well, again, not the last few years but I am back on the case. I now have my assignments before me and I feel good about it. For starters I told myself "three bins a week". That's how much noxious weed control I would get out of the yard and down to the dump. I also told myself flowers this year as well, and after much work now have the makings for three really sweet little beds. I also told myself that the railing and the porch both needed tending to and those jobs have already been started. Lots more to do on top of that and that's grand, so long as the weather holds out.

And even if it doesn't, so what? Back in the day I worked outside until the rains of November helped me understand that it was time for me to refocus my energies on my inside work. If I remember correctly that's when the muses would come to visit. One year they even helped me think up and build up my mantle piece. Maybe something new and exciting like that will come to me this fall, like the exhaust fan above my stove or a real reworking of the basement. But for now I see tomato starters, sunflower seeds and dahlia bulbs before me. I see an outside fire pit aching to be used and the sinking of two posts that needs to be done so I can rock outside in my Guatamalan hammock. I see plenty of bbq time coming up because this year I can actually see the bbq, whereas before it was just too much to handle.

This year I see flowers where before there were weeds, and I couldn't be happier, or feel more alive.


1 comment:

Thaydra said...

There is something so rewarding in digging your hands in the earth and bringing something to life. It revitalizes not only the dirt, but the soul, as well.

Enjoy your little piece of heaven. =)