Monday, June 2, 2014

When You Want Everyday To Count

So it's Saturday. 

I know when you read this it will be Monday, but right now, trust me, it’s Saturday.

This morning started, with me wanting to make my Saturday count. 

You know how that is, right? 

You have this list of things that need to be done and at the end of the day you drop into bed and wonder what you did all day since your list never got any shorter? 

Well, bright and shiny in the morning, Lynette, my friend, and neighbor, had a garage sale going. I seized the opportunity to drag a few items across the wet grass, that needed to be mowed two days ago, over to her driveway. 

She decided that she loved them both and kept them. 

I then decided I loved three tablecloths that she was parting with.

So we swapped some stuff.

The damp morning air was sweet with the smell of late blooming lilac bushes and an early morning rain soaked the dark soil, of our freshly planted garden.

Our garden. The one that has enough tomato plants in it to feed all of us in this little suburb and you who are reading.

It started with a small four pack of some kind of tomatoes claiming to be “bigger” and to be “boys.” They seemed so small, that I bought another four pack of plants. The name indicated that they would be “early” ... and that they were “girls.”

It sounded promising. Bigger, better, boys and early girls. Like tomorrow would be fine, but I don't think they meant that soon.

Later I found two beautiful plants that had, "heirloom" and "heritage," in their names. 

I'm not sure but I think that these are plants that get back to the basics. Before everything was hybrid and modified.

And then in our small garden, there is the one super-duper giant pumpkin plant.

I just like to plant them.

If the plant survives the gopher village and the bug that eats the vine from the inside out, the huge leaves cover a large space that is normally dominated by weeds and a few stickers. The stickers and weeds seem to also be appealing to the grasshoppers. 

Which is all why I would really like to have chickens.

That is correct. I just want chickens.

Someone made it part of the neighborhood covenant that having agricultural animals on our acre is not acceptable. The only thing we are supposed to do with this acre of land is.... mow. 

This has caused me to want to enter the arena of politics and lobby for my all-American freedom, to have Rhode Island Reds who happily eat bugs, dig up stickers and produce large brown eggs.

But alas, all I have is a finch feeder that has caused quite a stir in the local bird-hood and two red Cardinals who eat outside by office window in another feeder. 

They take my breath away.

So back to the garden.  

JQ has his three varieties of peppers. There are hot, hotter and then the hottest.

Years ago, (when we had free roaming chickens) we actually had two gardens and one was called the "salsa garden." Now we just poke a few plants in small raised beds and end up shopping at the local Farmers Market later.  This is because the rabbits nibble off their leaves and that’s about the end of it.

Could I digress back to the chickens one more time?

In town, I work a few blocks from city hall. In a house across the street from the office, there are chickens in the back yard. Only a few times have I caught a glimpse of them, but I often hear them. Like when the trash truck comes. Apparently town chickens don't like large trucks and they respond with cackles and bok-bok's  like someone is trying to chop their heads off. I try to be happy for these folks that they have fresh eggs, no stickers or grasshoppers. 


After swapping stuff with my neighbor, I went and swapped stories with a friend in commemoration of her birthday. She served fresh strawberry and greek yogurt parfaits and we enjoyed great conversation. Tina is one of the most naturally witty women I know. She needs to have a blog so you can love her too. Perhaps you should comment below, to encourage her? (wink)

Then I went to another friend’s house who was also hosting a garage sale. I was actually returning some things that belonged to her and was not going to buy a thing. 

But since I was there, I did look around and ended up with, a flat feather pillow and a laser sword that needs new batteries.

I was pleased with my purchases.

As I made my way home, JQ, my husband who lives here but I often do not see, asked if I wanted to hang out with him at Menards. It’s his happy place. If they opened a Mexican Food restaurant in it, we would never have to go to town again.

On the way home from our stroll through the food isle, dog treats section and garden center, we noticed that folks in a neighboring subdivision had their garage doors open and were pretty much giving stuff away.

So he and I wandered through six different strangers stuff and mingled with the locals, coming home with two pink fuzzy blankets for the grand girls to snuggle with.

That's it.

Then the afternoon was half over and the yard still needed to be mowed. So we teamed up on our green mowers, I took the zero-turn-double-bagger and made all the lines go a certain way. In the end, we both stood back when we were done and said, "this is good." 

A longtime friend, who gets motion sick on water, stopped by with his new fishing boat.

He took JQ out on the lake, to see if it would float.

When that was over we sat down to grilled hamburgers and a salad, when another one of our favorite people pulled up. It was all unplanned and sweet to connect and share a simple meal.

There we were. 

10:30 p.m. and the day was gone.

As I sat down to write this I was thinking how it was just an ordinary day. A day when few things that were planned, got checked off the list. 

But as I type this out, I realize that it was a good day.

A day when I was able to spend time with people. A day we took the time to hang out good friends and hold hands with the man I am still wild about, even if bonding means going to look at tools, mowing yards, and grilling hamburgers. A day digging around for a little-buried treasure. 

It is too easy to rush past what is important to do what is urgent. 

So often, I get tangled up in too much stuff and wanting things that don't really matter in the whole scheme of thing. 

I forget to do simple things like spending time with friends, neighbors and walking slowly and laughing deep. 

The real treasures are people. And the interruptions are most often Divine appointments.

My lists will always be there.  

So I'm reminded that our lives are never wasted when we spend time with people.

I hope you will embrace that this week.


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© Rhonda Quaney