That Spouse o' Mine got home from Ghana Sunday midnight. That was a long trip - for me. Two and a half weeks of sporadic emails and intermittent garbled phone calls. We are so spoiled nowdays. When the two of us lived in Cairo way back when (30 years ago), our highlight was the once-a-month call home to my parents in Oklahoma. And we received a letter or two in the airmail each month. (Now instead of airmail, people store things in "the cloud".)
I had planned to accomplish so many things while that Spouse o' Mine was gone. I had an index card three columns-full of tasks to start and finish. "Paint the bathroom" Nope. "Wash windows" Nope. "Clean barn, clean duckhouse, clean basement, clean cars..." Nope, nope, nope. Nope!
Read books? Yes (Hey! Not on the index card.) Read backload of magazines? Yes! (HEY!! DITTO!) Sit on the porch of an evening with friends? Yep. Watch several seasons of The Good Wife? Guilty as charged.
Weed and till and plant something like 68 lavender plants, visit a real lavender farm (with something like 4200 plants), and sweat and sway in the heat and wind of Kansas? Yes. Yes, I did indeed do the latter.
In fact, I still have 4 hours of weeding and tilling to do this week, before I complete my first round of lavender planting. I have been going out at 6:00ish am every morning that it has not been lightning and spending at least three hours pulling weeds out of my little lavender plot. From there, I take my eensy 4-tine rototiller and plow up hills and troughs: hills for the lavender plants, and troughs for the moisture drainage. (Hope springs eternal here, following two years of serious drought in rural Kansas.)
OK. So here is what my early morning practice looks like:
Arise. Hopefully at 5:00 am, so as to watch the dawn before the sunrise. Do lots of yoga stretches because - hey! - I am not getting any younger and this lavender farming biz is proving that fact.
Make coffee. More yoga. Sip a cup of coffee whilst perusing the weather. Pour rest of coffee into thermos and head out to the pasture with coffee and teacup in tow. Also, one dog and two cats. They love it when I call out "PASTURE!!" at 6:00 am.
Get down on hands and knees for 2-3 hours and pull up weeds. Mostly dead weeds, but some live-and-thriving-therefore-strong weeds. My elbows begin aching. And my little fingers, too, because they are the stronghold of fists which finally yank the weeds from the earth. That, and maybe, at 54, I have a bit of my grandmother Gram's arthritis?
Every 45 minutes or so I take a swill of coffee from my teacup. The heat and humidity are high. Sweat: AWFUL. I hate trickles.
And so, throughout my mornings in the weeds, I am thinking up thoughts like "What is the difference between delegate and relegate?" "Gerunds: let's revisit them." "What about T.S.Eliot?" "High fructose corn syrup really needs some major boundaries," "What about S.E.Hinton?" "Frank Lloyd Wright: Prairie" "Oh, lookie, there is a new-born praying mantis!" "I'd really like to know Paul's (not that Spouse o' Mine) realtime/personal connection with folks like the Philippians." "What I would do in the Whitehouse if I were First Lady." "These wolf spider are much larger and hairier than last week; they look like tarantulas." "Myanmar", "Ah! A bumble bee. Who named him so?" "The Obamas: I hope they are fairing well as a family." "Look at that sunrise! A Thomas Moran painting, to be sure!"
And so much more...