Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rain, rain, go away...

I have had enough rain. Now, I want to spend time outside everyday, every minute. My garden gets little snippets of my time, a bit of weeding here, a bit of tilling there. I never have a whole dry week to keep going on any one chore. My attempts at planting, fertilizing, building beds, are up one minute, down the next, as I anticipate the next deluge.

I have dreamed of a beautiful garden every year. And every year I have spent hundreds of hours scouring nurseries and bringing home beautiful plants that do well for one season. I make adjustments, eliminate some plants,reevaluate my vision, ask the natives what works well on this coast.

By August, I beg for the rain to return, for clouds and mist and cool days. Even on the coast, summer is dry and windy, irritating to the skin and the eyes. Come to think of it, Spring is not so bad. The sun peeks out every day, or almost every day and beckons me to be outdoors. Then, a gentle shower helps my new seedlings grow and keeps my roses growing. I can get used to this.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Snow in April

There we were, dressed in light shirts and tennis shoes, for a spring weekend get-away, up the coast, stopping in Lincoln city for the first night, on our way to Portland. Easrly Saturday mornig we were tempted to change plans, but decided to drive on, marvelling at the effect of snow quietly powdering the countryside, hushing all noise and tricking the senses.

Snow in Oregon is a Christmas postcard through and through. But this was not Christmas. Blooming apple trees cringed,tomato and pepper starters suffered heart palpitations, and baseball practices were postponed.

But in Portland, canoers still paddled down the Willamette in beautiful formation. Shops put out their colorful complimentary umbrellas out to encourage people to shop. They succeeded. No snow, no rain, no chill. kept Oregonians from enjoying their city. Young and old were out all day, at restaurants, in shops, at Powell's, at REI's, at outdoor events celebrating Earth Day.

We took our cue from the natives, donning extra layers and doing what we came to do, shop and recreate in a beautiful city.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Papal Visit

Watching the papal visit yesterday on television, reminded me of the time, in the eighties,when I stood on a street in downtown Los Angeles, waving at the Pope John Paul, as he passed by. In a single moment, I felt bathed in faith and goodnes, suddenly joyful.

I am sure those who lined up in Washington, D.C. had a similar experience, beyond the mundane and the ordinary, an encounter with a person who represents all we want to be, good and honest and loving, filled with Divine inspiration.

It has been years since I've been to any church, and decades since I followed the precepts of my Catholic upbringing. But, in one second,yesterday, the entire connection with the community of believers was revived. And that, in our modern world, is a miracle.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tax Day

Has our committment to buiding and supporting our nation become mudddled and derailed by our suspiciousness of the very people we elect to run our state and national affairs? Have we stopped participating in open dialogue,hiding instead behind labels and safe posturing?

We have seen how a few words out of context can pin a person down in one position,for eternity. We do not discuss openly with each other what it is that we believe for fear of the BIG LABELING. Left or right. Religious or not. Patriotic or Not -patriotic enough. We are a nation afraid of labels, afraid to exercise our rights, afraid to discuss openly.

Tax day has become its own big LABEL. You can take a stand-for or against.

But,TAX DAY is another Independence Day- a stand up and count me in day- let's do something together day-for the good of the nation and future generation-day-for liberty and opportunities for all- day. Isn't paying taxes the most profoundly democratic way for us to insure that our nation prospers and creates opportunities for all?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pundits and superdelegates

The task in front of the common citizen is to ignore the pundits and to understand the need and service provided by the superdelegates. Frankly, I am just a common citizen, hardly interested in issues unless they touch me directly. And that is one of the problems with democracy. My ignorance has the same weight when it comes to voting as my husband's broad knowledge. I couldn't care less about NAFTA until it begins to affect my pocketbook. And that doesn't happen right away and/or directly, either for me to understand all the ramifications.

Now, about the pundits. They should be informing us, truly teaching us the fundamentals of policies and the consequences of same. They do not. They sit on the sideline and grab around for the latest topic that will create buz on the air waves. If you choose to watch television you do not get automatic feed of all news. You get tiny bits of fluff. You must educate yourself and must walk to the libraries and book stores and do the old-fashioned research.

The superdelegates, on the other hand, are supposed to be the most informed of voters, people who have the party's concerns at heart. They will ultimately maintain the party's ship on course. Somehow, though, this entire idea of one class of people who have more power than the rest of us doesn't feel right. It feels like the parental unit having veto power on the goals of the family. We all want to feel like adults when we have arrived at adulthood. The trouble is, in most cases, that we want the rights of adulthood but not the responsibilities.

So, pundits and superdelegates do have power over us as long as we sit passively. Our voices need to be educated and they need to be loud

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Obama or Clinton?

It's about time I declare my support for my favorite candidate. While Obama charms and amazes me, and if he is the chosen candidate I will definetely support him, my heart and all my senses point to Hillary as the choice for us. Especially now, especially after the Bush mess.

Hillary has three things that Obama does not have: she lived through a time when her husband's administration dealt with a contentious group of people; she was always an involved individual, more than other first ladies, taking up solid issues and difficult challenges; she has the stamina and the backbone to put up with criticisms and sabotages from all sources. In comparison, Obama is just a fresh face.

There is another reason Hillary needs to win: she represents women, a group treated as second class citizens for centuries. It is time to rectify all of that. Hillary is not a saint, and she has baggage. Who doesn't? But for all those folks who think they know someone better qualified, let them stand up and be counted.

I vote for Hillary. And so should you.

Time for planting

The weather can change daily on this coast. For the last few nights I had to bring in my deck plants, hoping that all this fuss will be over soon and I can continue to plant in peace. The garden by the lake is relatively small and the black covering helps to warm the soil and contain the weeds. This time last year,I already had peas growing and everything planted. This year, I haven't done much.

With night temperatures dipping shamefully in the 30's I am not sure what will survive. The birds are happy, though, and acting as though all this cold weather is normal after all. Seed packets can cost as much as $4.00 for a handful of promises from Territorial. And the plant starters are just as expensive.

Yet, the most expensive thing in the summer is water. Yes, water. Here on the coast where 100+ inches of rain drown us in the winter and spring, water is a luxury in the summer. Our town has old pipes and an ancient water delivery and processing system. We count every flush and every load of laundry, and a garden is a luxury. Ironic and frustrating from someone like me who moved up from California because I was tired of conserving water.

Spring and summer will mean digging, mixing compost, sewing and weeding, but it will all be worth it: muscles and tendons will scream for a break; bruises and minor cuts will prevent other chores from getting finished; and melliflous smells from herbs and flowers will follow me all day.

My reading and writing patterns will change. I have waited for months to play in the dirt, and I now I can finally walk out of the door with a hat and a spade and give the rest of my body a good workout. I am ready to pay the price.