First of all, I wanted to thank Erich and Sylvia for stopping by, and welcome to Sand Creek! Sylvia, I'll work on that challenge.
I'm staying home from work today; somehow I caught a nasty cold bug over the weekend. I called in, and John, my coworker thanked me for not coming in to infect everyone else. I was disappointed though; someone had called from church and asked me to play music Sunday morning. I thought I was okay to do it, but on sunday I woke up with no voice and not feeling like playing flute either.
I should try to relax today; the weekend was hectic. Friday was hectic in a fun sort of way; Tom, a new friend, called up and invited us to dinner at his house. He and Sal, his partner, have a beautiful farm. I would call them true homesteaders; they raise pigs, chickens, and one cow for milk, and he does some very artistic woodwork for extra income. Their children, Red and Ada, are the same ages as Vincent and Nina and they have a great time together. Fred and Missy were there so of course after dinner Fred and I played some music while Russ and Tom and Charlie plotted how to overthrow the system through peaceful self sufficiency.
Saturday we had a family obligation in the Twin Cities. Going to the cities for me lately is like having teeth pulled. I hate the traffic, the noise, the speed. It's almost as if I'm living at a totally different pace out here. I can handle Duluth, I love Duluth, but I would be very happy if I never had to set foot (tire) in Minneapolis or St. Paul again. Not to mention I was starting to feel under the weather, and as usual my family wasn't much for conversation. I did have to laugh at the irony though; my parents brought Lilith's body to me, double bagged, frozen, and in a small Styrofoam cooler on which my mom had written "Lilith, 1991-May 10, 2005". All the way home I kept thinking "I have a dead cat in the car...I have a dead cat in the car..." Well, to me it was kind of funny. I buried her yesterday.
I was so frazzled by being in the cities that I could not wait to get home, to the peace and quiet of our home place. I realize now how much I need this place. I need to be out in the country, to have some space, and to be able to appreciate things like the first red eyed vireo I heard yesterday. Even though I was moving kind of slow, I worked on my garden beds a bit on Sunday morning. It's been difficult for me to get in gardening mode this year for some reason; maybe it's the weather. But it was wonderful to get my hands in the dirt, and now I'm inspired. My greens bed is doing well; maybe we'll have baby lettuce, spinach and orach leaves in a week or so. We will have twelve 4x8 raised beds this year plus a few potatos in bins; that's more garden space than I've ever had. We will need to get some black dirt from a farmer we know from church, but we also have lots of great composted horse manure to mix in.
Our afternoon work was interrupted while we chased a steam engine train. Russ heard the distinctive whistle, and remembered someone had told him a steam engine would be passing through Sunday afternoon. So we hopped in the van to find it. We barely missed it at Askov and Sandstone, so we got on the freeway and sped towards Hinckley. I saw the smoke so I figured the best thing would be to drive on to Brook Park and catch it there. We managed to get there with time to spare, and we stood in a great spot by the tracks as the mighty engine roared by. The kids had never seen a steam engine in motion before; there's something so much more beautiful and romantic about a steam engine than a diesel. As I was holding Joey up on my shoulders to see it I was reminded of the Greg Brown song "The Train Carrying Jimmie Rodgers Home".