Saturday, October 29, 2005


Physical quantities like the speed of light, the attraction of electric charges and the strength of gravity are, for us, the unchanging foundation on which everything is built. But if we are the products of self-interpretation, this stability may simply reflect the delicacy of our own construction - our biochemistry would malfunction if physical constants varied, and we would cease to be. For the same reason, the rules must have held steady over a long period, so evolution could accumulate our many intricate, interlocking internal mechanisms.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Tale of Two Gardens

My garden is related to archeology. It is a raised garden, a layer above an older much better garden, my father's garden. His garden was a scaled down version of the farm that he loved and coaxed and sweated over, until life gave him no choice but to abandon it. When at last the tide of change swept on, it left my father with a space that was small by his standards but enormous by those of his new city neighbors, and he began to craft his garden. By the time he left this world of the living, his garden was famous. But like other fame, it disappeared in one season, evaporating with my father. It became another memory covered by grass.
This year I moved back to my home town to care for my mother. I thought it would be nice to have a couple of tomato plants, maybe a summer squash and a pumpkin vine. My "thought" rapidly turned into a "family and friends" project, out of my control. Everyone had ideas of what should be planted and the list grew and grew! And so did the garden space. Not just once did a dump truck arrive with topsoil but twice. Up, up went the garden, lifted by railroad ties brought by a friends' son. Two tomato plants turned into eighteen, they were surrounded by garlic and various pepper varieties. Summer squash was kept company with winter squash and giant pumpkin vines began reaching their great arms out into the world. It wasn't enough. Giant sunflowers, moon flowers and morning glories found a place with pole beans and new rose bushes. Green onions hung onto their patch of ground and all had to be fenced in to keep the roving bands of hungry bunnies at bay.
As the days turned violently hot under the Kansas sun, I spent early morning hours dragging the hose about to water and water and water. It was hot and I burned, but I had to admit it was fun having a daily excuse to play in the water. I fought bugs and weeds and burned more.
The first part of July the first tomato turned from green to red. I was so excited! Like pop-corn the tomatoes, peppers and squash exploded in the heat, I was suddenly inundated by the storm of veggies! I picked and picked, with joy. Family and friends returned and ate and ate and their praises still make me smile. I hope never to forget the look on my youngest son's face as he bit into the first slice of tomato. "Mom", he said, "These are the best tomatoes I've ever had in my life!." He ate three of them that day and for a couple of weeks kept coming back for more. I gave bags of veggies away and picked and picked more. We had salads, stews and sauces and mixed vegetables. I filled the counters and fridge with vegetables, and picked more and gave away more. But still they came. I was totally swamped, I couldn't use them up fast enough, and still.... there was more! Finally I found tomatoes kept better on the vines and I quit watering. With a little guilt, I retreated to the house to let the garden just be the garden, out there with the birds that came for the sunflower seeds and the squirrels, rabbits, possums and raccoons that came for what ever they wanted. By this time they were welcome to it!
It frosted on the pumpkins last night. The garden is done, black and wilted. I looked at it this morning and realized that I planted more than a couple of tomato plants, I had planted memories, memories like my father had planted and loved. I know as I put my garden to bed, I'll remember the pot-luck lunches we had to feed everyone that came to shovel and rake the huge piles of new dirt brought in, the tea drank under the pine tree after a morning of watering, and I'll remember all the smiles given to me as I handed over grocery store bags filled with home grown veggies. I'll remember the laughter and the colors and the storms and the mornings. It frosted, last night...

Saturday, October 22, 2005 a remote and forgotten land, lived a creature of such girth and ferocity that even the bravest of men would not attempt to defeat it.

All the best tales have remote lands and fearsome dragons!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Flight Of The Old Monster
They say the handle of her broom was made from the taproot of an ancient oak. The oak still stands at the heart of the woods, growing greater and darker with every passing year. Darker, branching ever darker... and in the village, if you hear someone speaking of the "Old Monster" you know not whether they speak of the tree, or of the one that rides it...

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A cold moon was rising...
The days were getting shorter and soon someone was going to come and take away the pumpkins.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I haven't ever felt the need to "blog" before, but today Ray Dillon got me interested in a site called Illustration Friday I had been to the site before and thought it was fun to visit the artwork of others inspired by a word of the week. Ray convinced me to give it a try, so here is my first attempt at a blog. The word this week was "Lost" which is how I'm feeling now!