Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Growing things

This has been a really wonderful move for all three of us. Lily still aches for Brooklyn at times, but she's doesn't mention it nearly as much. Dave's really been a great playmate this spring, and she's been busy with all her various groups, the ones that are now finishing up, like the Jones Library book group and the Jones Library theater group and the Leisure Services pottery class. She's just got 10 more days of school -- they get out on the 15th this year, earlier than usual because there was only one snow day.

What I like about how I see Lily changing is that she is learning about nature in a way she never had in Brooklyn -- and me, too. It's real, here; here we live in it, we don't just look at it and try to get into it on the weekend. Sunday I was driving her to her Dungeons and Dragons group (don't ask) (did I mention D&D? she's a second-level elf druid) during a raging downpour. As we drove over the Connecticut River she was fascinated with what the water looked like, roiling and rough. Then on the way back it was completely still -- and on the third trip over it was both ruffled from the wind and calm in parts. She noticed it each time and was really interested and tried to describe it. I like that.

Great rivers in NYC, of course, but when we went over them we were usually so high you couldn't really see them, or focus on their textures. Here you are just above it so it's easy to pay attention. Last week this fuzzy pollen was so thick it scummed up on the water's surface and looked like pollution. Glad it wasn't.

I have really noticed all the farms and fields on my way to work. There's terrible construction on the bridge over to Northampton, where my job is. So I drive through Hadley on a road parallel to the main drag, which is route 9, and I pass by all sorts of farms. Today it occurred to me that I find it extraordinary that plants grow. I mean, I'm not a farmer, or even a gardener. When we got here in November the ground was frozen and any plant life was dead. Now it's been plowed and planted and weeded and watered -- I pass what look like migrant workers every day, although who knows where they are from, working hard -- and now the corn is as much as a foot high, and the rows of squash plants all have lovely orangy-yellow blossoms. I see rows and rows of little lettuces and their cuteness just cracks me up and amazes me.

When I tried to grow a little garden in Wellesley as a teenager I got some tomatoes, of course, but hardly anything else. I remember my cukes did terribly. I really had no idea what I was doing and it's wild that someone else does -- thank god they do! I was telling a friend here that I work as a magazine editor, and described the job to her. She looked at me in astonishment and said she'd have no idea how to do my job. My friend's a nurse, so I of course replied that I could not draw blood to save my life. That made her laugh because it's so second-nature to her.

Our CSA started up last week, and we are really psyched about it. Our share is at the Food Bank Farm this year, and we were lucky to get in it; it usually sells out its shares. Early on, of course, it's mostly greens and such, and the salads we've been eating taste amazing. Fresh, alive, really tasty. The cool thing is that because they don't have to truck their food to the city, like we had in Brooklyn, they can let other providers come to them. Dave has done the pick-ups so far and done quite a bit of grocery shopping -- they sell local eggs, beef, chicken, bread and muffins, hand soap, cheese, tofu, jams, and much more. It all tastes great and I'm really happy to be a part of it.

Along with asparagus it's been rhubarb season and tonight Dave made a strawberry (now in season, too) and rhubarb crumble. Yum. Dinner was that and a fresh CSA salad with arugula and their tahini salad dressing, fresh bread, and herbed goat cheese, Dave's own rice pilaf, and pork chops from Whole Foods. We are living very nicely here.

I saw another friend on Monday, like Sunday a cold and dramatically stormy day, and she laughed when she saw me and said, you look like a New Englander! I said, I do? I was wearing a Mark Morris baseball cap and a long gray microfiber raincoat, it might be a London Fog. She said, you look ready for the weather. It made me think, I am just more suited to New England than New York City. I've never been a clothes horse (I know this will come as a surprise) and I never let the New York City clothes vibe get too deep into my head; I certainly wore anything I wanted to in Brooklyn, especially when I wasn't working. Here it's not that people don't care about their clothes or their look, it's that the whole vibe is so much less intense. My first week at work we had a fire drill and 40 out of 45 were wearing blue jeans. My kind of crowd.

Oh, two last things: I've been reading about feng shui and I think our house has good vibes. It's south-facing, with a hill on the north side and a stream to the east. Also, the path to the front door is curved. If you know about this stuff and want to advise us on how to arrange the inside, please don't hesitate ....

Second, Lily cracked me up again just now when I was kissing her good night and she said, tell that cow to shut up! The neighbors have some young cows that can get very noisy when they are hungry. I said, well, we didn't have noisy cows in Brooklyn! and she cracked up herself. Their rooster is back at it again, after a few months of crowing on the other side of the house, I guess. I haven't heard much out of ole Rocky until recently. I'm excited about the new place but there won't be cows and there won't be roosters. There will be bears, so that's some consolation, I suppose.

Sure is a different life here. PLEASE, to all our friends reading, please plan on coming to visit us. We are here almost the entire summer. Come visit and let us show off our new place and show you around our new town. We can explore together. We are trying to make our home very comfortable for guests, and very welcoming.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.