Blood, Sweat and Tears: berries chard crabapple Girl Scout camp heat herbs humidity lettuce martial arts weapon nest peas peppers potatoes Primeval purple beans raspberries The Brain Game tomato worm Top Gear tree frog wild garlic zucchini
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We spent some time napping in front of the television until Top Gear got so exciting that we could no longer rest. We watched them race in the salt flats and then crash lorries while my partner pretended he was shrinking, sinking down low every time he caught my eye as his way of apologising for eating Doritos loudly enough to shatter my psyche. When Primeval came on after, the channel had to be switched. The show has insulted us and we cannot suffer the fifty minutes of crap for five minutes of dinosaurs and anomalies.
We ended up on the local high school intellectual competition called The Brain Game and I happened to not only get a great number of correct answers, I got them before the kids and before the question was completed. J ran off because he couldn’t take it any longer. Because of this, when it was over, I went running through the house shouting I used to be smart!! I’m still smart!! I’ll always be smart!!! and accosted him in the kitchen.
The downtime was needed because I’ve spent an utterly exhausting week at Girl Scout camp helping to feed the little maniacs in attendance. It is fantastic to me to be in the company of such capable, pleasant, cooperative women. I rarely share time with other people; I tend to avoid females in particular. It was also incredible to be around normal children for a change. The horrible place ruined me for children, for human beings. This was a balm, helping to restore some of my faith in humanity.
In the camp, when times get tough, we all work that much harder to pull it out and push through. There are no spats, there is no one-upsmanship. The horrible place was the complete opposite. It was awful on a daily basis, worse when things went awry, and apocalyptic when something truly bad happened. I feel like I am scarred inside from the trauma- and I am an adult.
But, camp. Camp is enjoyable. There is consistent work to keep me from looking at the clock. I’m off my hinder and moving, a nice change from constantly writing. My particular crazy habits work exceptionally well there. They need things organized and sorted, heavy items moved and shelved. I love to do that. I am especially good at feeling out the process and thinking a step ahead, so when cook turns to ask for a spoon, I am standing there with it in hand.
But, camp is tiring. Loooong hours in desperate heat and humidity. A full sweat can be achieved by walking from one building to another. Lucky for me, I’m inside with the radio and a/c. Lucky for them, too, as I am prone to heat exhaustion and heat psychosis.
My completely mental partner has been out running in the weather. I’m driving home in a car so fantastically hot that I can barely manage to touch the wheel enough to steer, so hot that the a/c doesn’t have a chance to cut the oppressive environment before I reach home, and I pull into the drive to find he’s just been running, is sitting there drenched, having fully exerted himself in the hottest part of the day.
While I’ve been away and busy, he’s been holding down the homefront and has fallen into little rituals of his own. He answers his email and checks his stats, then goes out to pull weeds or cut a little grass. By hand, of course, with some sort of martial arts weapon. Then he comes in to work for a bit before going out to run. Then he’s back here, washing dishes I’ve neglected and cooking dinner for me because I’m late again.
While I’ve been away, the garden has gone wild in the best sense of the word. We’re getting zucchini and very late peas, lettuce and herbs, green and purple beans. It’s time to dig the potatoes. I can clearly see the yellow chard and the beets. The peppers are suddenly doubled in size and blooming. We had our first tomato worm.
And out back in the crabapple, the eggs have hatched.
These are not the only avian dwellers here. The bird who unsuccessfully tried to nest all along the front window, making a muddy mess of the front of the house and deck, got his mixture and his location right and stuck a nest above the garage door. He has a neighbor about a foot away, over the security light.
We’ve discovered wild garlic growing along the roadside and will soon be harvesting some to eat and some to bring into the garden. Sadly, the raspberries began to die back after our last picking, the remaining berries withering on the stem, likely due to the heat, which is far worse in the little valley where they line the road. Their memory will live on in the cobbler, which left our kitchen smelling pleasantly of simmering berry fruits.