We all agreed that the hollow below would make a perfect place to live if ever the world descends into dystopian reality.
Ms. Johanna came upon the vacant lot on one of her walkabouts after she retired. Bamboo and trashed choked, it seemed a perfect place to park her considerable energy. She brought a machete the next time she came around. By summer’s end, the soil had been replenished and mulched Four raised beds overflowed with herbs, some beans, corn and berry bushes. That was twenty-two years ago. Now 82, she’s still working this portion of earth pretty much by herself.
The son said he imaged a surprise party, something that we both agreed was completely uncharacteristic of him. But the occasion was momentous–four years comprised of 19 hour days and working two jobs–a cum laude college degree from a rigorous university. But how to do this in this plague time seemed daunting.
I went out yesterday searching for community gardens in Brooklyn. My idea was to see how, during this particular planting season, a community is managing to work together in narrow plots coached from the rubble of vacant lots.
I inherited a bunch of community cookbooks from Mom and bought a couple more in thrift stores. The recipes in them are anchored in the character of the region where they were collected, the products of local PTAs, church groups and ethnic societies. They’re also a fine guide to food fads.
Maybe it’s that we’ve learned how to accept life now. Maybe, in some manner, we’re figuring out how to patch together a shade of what was once our daily routines. Or maybe it’s this, from the philosopher Jeff Goldblum. Whatever has happened, small moments of grace have surfaced–some of wonder and others of blessed normalcy.
It’s always a good policy to let people know when you’re going to write about them. It’s better if you do it before it’s published but I figured Stephanie wouldn’t mind. Yesterday, after posting my piece where she is the star of the show, I wrote to tell her that a tiny bit of the world would be reading about her. And then it got interesting.
As we enter our third week of confinement, I have to be honest and tell you we’re pretty sick of one another in this house. And so we had a virtual dinner party.
If this was the before time, I would have not stopped at the fifth rewrite of this morning’s post about the virtual dinner party we had on Saturday.
Over the years, Margie has given me a license to be who I really am. Her life has become my guide to being what she calls a “curious woman.”