Once I get used to the idea of fall being here, I love it. All of the nesting and the preparation for winter. Here in Kentucky we'll be more involved in that process and already have been. My husband helped "fill silo" at many Mennonite farms in September (and I had the honor and privilege of helping the women prepare a noon dinner for almost 30 people on one day) along with our boys, who also picked watermelons for the better part of August after school and on Saturdays.
Today I woke up to rain and gray skies. I don't believe I was ever so happy to see a rainy day. The clouds are clearing now but that bit of a drink was much needed after two months of drought here in south-central Kentucky. Every tropical storm remnant has gone either east or west of us here, just teasing us with long tendrils that promise rain but do not bring it. As I've recently learned, all signs fail in times of drought.
With the economic gloom and doom of the past few weeks, well out of anyone's control, I do want to control what we can in our own home economics. For some time we've been paring down, cutting back and all of those things one should do any way. Our move to Kentucky was our first big step and can I just shout out now a big "YEAH" for our recent house closing in New Hampshire? As hard a process as it was to say goodbye to the old place, we are amazed that it still sold despite a week of bank collapses and an increasingly deadening real estate market that proceeded it. We are blessed by the timing and not having to heat the place this winter. The new owner, a Bear Stearns refugee (oh the irony), seems delighted with our former home, now his, and all's well that ends well. [The closing was also on what turned out to be the 85th wedding anniversary of Temple's grandparents who bought the house in 1959.]
So here I am on the ridge, feeling much more settled, despite the boxes still to wade through from the big six-week blitzkrieg from mid-July tea party (remember that blog?), when the house was at its very best in terms of presentation, until our pre-Labor Day final move and emptying. Most things will stay in their boxes until we eventually build our farmhouse and barn but there are still those to open now or in the near future or to at least sort into categories.
The pundits and financial gurus on CNN are all spouting doom and gloom, how to buy T-bills, what to do about the stock market (don't) etc. Few others are the voice of reason for the masses: spend LESS, cut BACK, don't indulge. We have been doing this for a while now: gathering forces in one place for our own sustenance farm in a part of the country that we can afford to live in and that doesn't have endless winter.
Last January we arrived here with a partially full freezer towed in a trailer behind our car. [See January 2 blog on Pantry Preparedness.] It's full again and I've decided that this month I am not going to buy any food except for fresh produce, eggs and needed dairy products. We are going to live out of the freezer--and what's in the pantry--and see how far we can get. I might even see how long we can go without going to a large store (and now that Target is out of our system again!). I am even getting back to making bread again. While we are eating from what we have we will also be putting more food by: juicing, applesauce, some preserves and canning (more about this throughout the next few months). I'll keep you updated as to our progress and fun recipes I find, or old standbys, with what's on hand in the pantry and freezers.
As long as the larder is full, there is some sense of security in a crazy world. Just remember in the midst of this economic downturn, it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. This was perhaps best said by Chance the Gardener in Being There (1979). These are his words of wisdom while providing counsel to the president [one of my favorite parts of a favorite movie of all time, with Peter Sellers in his last role--you'll just have to see it or see it again]:
President "Bobby": Mr. Gardener, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?
Chance the Gardener: As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.
President: In the garden.
Chance: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.
President: Spring and summer.
President: Then fall and winter.
Benjamin Rand: I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we're upset by the seasons of our economy.
Chance: Yes! There will be growth in the spring!
President: Hm. Well, Mr. Gardner, I must admit that is one of the most refreshing and optimistic statements I've heard in a very, very long time.
[Benjamin Rand applauds]
President: I admire your good, solid sense. That's precisely what we lack on Capitol Hill.