The life blood of a blue planet

As fires ravage the west coast…we pray for rain. In India, Africa, and Asia droughts and lack of rain parch the lands, and wells and reservoirs are going dry.

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Our aquifers are being depleted at alarming, no…terrifying! rates. And while the recharge (refill) rates vary…most of the large aquifers now being drained to sustain farming, mining, and industry, and support cities in arid western states…need centuries to recharge. 21 of the 37 largest aquifers on our tiny blue planet are being drained at unsustainable rates. Considering that they are the sole source of life sustaining fresh water for hundreds of millions of humans, that we have stressed them beyond the tipping point…where our demand exceeds their ability to be renewed…there is no time to spare in resolving this.

And there is no outcry. The problem perhaps is that “the problem” can’t be seen. It isn’t as easily evident as dried up reservoirs and forests burning due to drought. Big businesses demand their “right” to use as much water as required for their stockholders to continue to make huge profits. When the water is gone…what then?

Water stuck closer to home for me this week. A family not far from where I live have hit some hard times…it happens in these uncertain days more than ever before.  A big family, an unexpected baby girl eight years after the youngest of the five boys, and not enough money to keep the water turned on. That happens in poor neighborhoods all across America. Not expected in middle class suburbia, is it?  People surprised and saddened me with their lack of compassion. The family tries to hide their problem because other children make fun of their boys. I stopped over today and got a car load of big containers and jugs which I refilled at my house and returned to them under the cover of night…when judgmental eyes might not see. A routine thing, three or four times a week. Not noteworthy in any regard save that a simple act of kindness as a neighbor should need to be hidden.

They have worked out a payment arrangement with the water company…another few weeks and their water will be restored…but how sad people turn away from need, instead of reaching out to one another.

Water shouldn’t be beyond the reach of everyone in this country. In a perfect world, where humans cared more about other living beings and less about possessions, would we not, each and every one, strive for the best for all and not only for ourselves?

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Such a small, fragile world made all the more remarkable for the blessing of abundant water. If a few jugs of water makes such a difference, imagine the loss when the source of that precious water is gone.

We have to find a better way, world. While we still can.

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Remember the good times…

This weekend my husband and I would have celebrated our anniversary…hard to believe he has been gone so long.  Over five years. Cancer is a hard thing, but it isn’t the cancer we choose to remember.

We remember that he always…seriously ALWAYS…forgot our anniversary.  Thankfully, he knew this about himself. He had his secretary remind him…it was on his calendar, after all…and when he moved to a career without a secretary, by then the older girls took over the task.  It actually never bothered me in the least. I knew when it was, and the fact we had made it another year was the only gift required. We did tease him endlessly about it, though. 😀

The younger kids remember he was ‘plushy’ and how much they loved cuddling on his lap and watching horrible tv and movies and bad wrestling shows.  What made it special was that he knew it was all horrible…that was what made it so much fun. Toxic Avenger, grade D movies (Tremors,  Attack of the Killer Tomatoes)… it became a staple item in the kids’ lives…one their friends still remember and celebrate on his birthday each year.

His passion for food!  (I did mention he was ‘plushy’, remember?)  We celebrated our anniversary with food. Either he took me out for seafood or chinese (my favorites) or I made him moussaka or lasagna (his favorites) …usually both…one for each night of the anniversary weekend.

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He snored!  OMG, the man snored like a jet revving for take off.  It became a bit of a joke at the Fair each year with the families in our 4H campground.  And the adjoining campgrounds… 😀

He laughed a lot. Cheated at games…and he loved games…and swore that it was ‘strategy’…and developed a game-winning ‘killer’ attitude in the girls. I don’t play games with them, lol. Except maybe scrabble or dominoes…can’t cheat at those 😉

Today was a good day. There was a gorgeous rainbow right over the river bridge that seemed to reach from the sea right down to our house. It made me smile.  I think that was David, reminding me to do that.  And when we think of him, we always do.

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Dream a little dream…

A different day today…a different expression of what my life is all about…of what I aspire to. What I dream, for myself.

Today I was brave.

I hit ‘send’ on my laptop and sent a query for my epic fantasy off into the world. Scary stuff, that. So many hours, months, years invested in this story. So much love, tears, hope, doubt.

OMG! It’s like raising kids! lol

And after I hit the button, had my moment of panic, then a deep breath because wow! I did it! What next?  Ah, the decisions that pull at my writerly heart…which story is next?

I always have a couple going…sometimes more.  I need to get back to work on the follow up book for this one. Just in case, you know.

I want to finish the eco-punk fantasy I have been working on along with this one for the last year. It is about half written, which pushes it to the top of the list.  Git ‘er done.

Tonight, I gaze at the gorgeous moon. Revel in the moonlight and the scent of rain promised on the wind. I watch the bats dance above the street, sweet darlings of the air, nomming on all those pesky southern bugs.

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And I am thankful.

For days such as this, nights so sweet, and the gift of words which fill my life with magic.

I am so blessed.

What are you thankful for?

Walking into Wednesday

Today started with an extra fun bonus… it was Walk Your Kids to School day. An effort to encourage our children (and a whole lot of parents from the looks of it) to get out of the car and get some fresh air and exercise.

We parked about a mile from the school and joined a group of other parents and kids headed for the elementary school. A few minutes in it was obvious I have raised a ‘real’ walker as he grew impatient with the casual strolling surrounding us. What is the point if you can’t stretch your legs and get some energy pumping?  Got to admit, he had a point.  After I dropped him at the school, I got to walk back alone…and minus the constraints of escorting the kids…I was off and power walking the way the kids and I have all their lives, even when they were in strollers.  I cut across to avoid trampling those enjoying a more leisurely pace,  got to enjoy the cool autumn air, see deer grazing in the cemetery, egrets wading the edge of the marsh, and celebrate the joy of just being alive.

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Afterwards, it was off to my friend’s house for a bit more landscaping…and rolling her huge room size oriental rug and carrying it outside, where it was unrolled for a good cleaning prior to her parents’ arrival for a visit.

The rest of the day sped past in a flurry of menial but unavoidable errands but tonight is warm, peaceful and quiet.  I finished it with a nice long walk under the full moon.

Life is good.

May we?

May we dance once more now that spring is full upon us

May we revel in the moonlight on magnolia blossoms…large and white as china saucers, scenting the air with sweet perfume

May we stroll the shore as white crested waves rush to roll about bare feet and erase all track of what is left behind

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May we begin again…with renewed hope, and grace, and determination in choosing the path before us

May we dance

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Daylight Savings…!

So thrilled Daylight Savings has returned.  It really should be the only time, because it makes the best use of daylight hours.  And I LOVE my daylight hours. More time to be in the yard, in the garden, enjoying my azaleas and camellias, more time for the kids and critters to play outdoors. Perfect.

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Except…sadly…this year’s change is accompanied by a very NOT usual for this time of year cold snap.  Chilly.  And I do not, as everyone who knows me even casually knows, like to be chilly.  Ever.  So here I am, eating my big ol’ yummy salad with spicy avocado-lime ranch dressing and enough peppers to warm me up, dogs curled up underfoot to keep my feet warm, and working diligently at my four zillionith attempt at a synopsis.  That will keep the brain cells firing.

 

Gardener–minus the Garden

It’s a hard thing for me to deal with this spring…yes,  February is the beginning of our spring planting season here in the Lowcountry…and here it is March and I have precious little in the ground save the quickie crops…radishes, etc.

This spring…we are thinking we will be moving.  If not right now, as soon as school ends, which is long before most crops will be grown and ready to harvest.  How then to have a decent garden at a time when the uncertainty of the months ahead makes it ever more important to have my own source of vegetables?  The pear tree is covered in blooms.  If we are here long enough, there will be bumper crops of pears, blackberries and black raspberries.  The blueberries are still in pots, I got them last winter on sale, and didn’t want them in the ground till I could be assured of no strange weather eccentricities.  Now would be the perfect time to put them in…but…ya know, moving.

Herbs aren’t so difficult, they do well in planters as long as they have room to spread out.  So this weekend, pots of Mexican oregano, tarragon, white sage, lots of new starts off my very old rosemary. I still need marjoram, cilantro, and basil (probably a couple of kinds, variety is the spice of life) as well as nasturtiums.

And then there is the entire issue of which crops to plant now, which I can pot and transport, which we will simply have to do without this season.  My much loved pod peas will be grown and ready to harvest in no time.  Things like cauliflower and broccoli?  Sigh.

The obvious alternative would be to see if I can budget a share in a CSA.  This might be the best option…particularly in a transitional period where I will most likely need another year to get the garden itself ready for proper planting, and when our hectic lives are better suited to some crops than others, a CSA would provide a better range of produce.  I am checking it out now and will let ya’ll know how it goes.