Saturday, July 28, 2007

Acclimation Easy, But....

We are now back in the Catskills where the rain that fell in Mississippi has followed us here. Not fun to be cooped up in two 12'x12' buildings with two crossword puzzle books and fighting the humid air. But, that's not as bad as not being to communicate.

If I'd never known of computers and cell phones, I think I'd have been better off. I have to go 5 miles to be within a cell tower, which is ok, but my new wireless connection just didn't get me the help for my computer that I'd expected. That has been so frustrating, since I have a small business that depends on orders via emails.I now have found by hiking up the hill behind our cabin I can get just the right height to get a cell phone connection. But the hike isn't easy. Should I complain???

But let's look on the cheery side, mate. I love it here. Right now there are few animals or fowl roaming around, no bird sounds, only the scrubbing sound of a limb above our cabins. Makes us remember we're in the woods.

Neighbors say to look out for the 650 lb bear wandering on our property. You betcha! We are armed with whistles and a tin pan and spoon which we "play" as we wander. Now how can I ever find such excitement in the city?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Time to Eat Our Bounty and Leave

Within 48 hours we should be leaving Mississippi, our Madison home that has just been named one of the top 10 little towns in America (by Family Circle Magazine), to finish out the summer in the lower Catskills. I'm ready. No regrets about leaving this late.

When R came home with two tomato plants some few months ago, I barked, "What do you think you're doing? We've never had luck with raising tomatoes!" He planted them quietly in two terracotta pots and said, "Let's try once more. These are bush tomatoes, just the right size for eating."

Sixty-four days these tomatoes needed to bloom and produce slices for my bacon/tomato sandwiches. I knew we'd never see them turn pink before we'd be in New York. Our delay in leaving has brought us several ripened ones along with figs for our cereal most mornings.

We were never good at raising food. We would've starved had we been early pioneers. Nothing we did gave us a break in planting. We tried nut and fruit trees only to see them wither and die. We asked questions, read articles, followed directions. Nothing worked. The last tree we planted was the fig, and we put it in a corner where no other growth was, sheltered on one side by a fence and forgot it. Steadily it grew and occasionally gave us a hint of a taste but offered no bragging rights. Now it's an old tree and producing enough for enjoyment.

Some eight years ago the tree had grown four feet into the yard. Bushes planted by our neighbors nearby were vying for the sunlight. We had clipped and sawed limbs from year to year to control its growth to no avail. The tree kept growing upward, revealing its juiciest fruit out of reach.

I've had a week to enjoy these brown kisses as is or sliced into a bowl with a bit of cream. The tomatoes are sweet and juicy, making my BLT the best ever. These enjoyments are the few rewards I like about summers in Mississippi.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I Feel Guilty

When neighbor J takes his daily walk, he pushes a small cart with an oxygen machine. He takes a few steps, stops, looks around, watches a bird flit from one tree to another, then goes a few more steps, only to stop again to regenerate energy to finish his walk. He may get the equivalent of a city block or two, but he moves. Only a torrential rain, the only deterrent. He doesn't mind the misty rains. The cloying heat just shortens his walking time.

Always a proponent of exercise, J has several machines at home he continues to use. Despite heart trouble. He told us the other day that the doctors found some muscles not holding his heart upright, causing the organ to sit sideways. Difficult to diagnose.

Here I sit day after day doing what I enjoy in the air conditioning, not exercising because of the outside heat. Unless I'm in a giant mall, where I'll walk extra to make up for excessive sitting. I see J and wonder if some health condition will have to strike me before I become enthusiasic about exercising more. So often it takes a scare to push us into good habits.

Here's to all like J who, despite affliction and weather,"keep trucking," "hang in there," keep on goin'".