© 2020 Donna Hébert. All rights reserved.
The provincial government called us today for only the second time during our quarantine. The caller said to expect a call daily from now till Monday, so I guess this is when most quarantiners bolt for the beach! No worries. There’s enough room here for Bob to do a mile walking the yard perimeter 8 times.
As for me, did I mention the spit-shined kitchen? All shiny clean and white, it will undergo this year’s first ordeal by blueberry jam pretty soon. Depends on whether the Co-op has five-pound boxes of blueberries. Five pounds, $15. In US$, that’s $11.32. Really. First year here, I bought 15 pounds and it didn’t gel much, but I tell you that blueberry drool was the best ever! I don’t think there’s any left.
A more pressing concern is that our well is running pretty low. We had a thimbleful of rain this morning but we’ve been severely curtailing our water use as the recharging is taking its time in this drought. It’s chastening to note how profligate most of us usually are – us included – in our daily water use. Water is an essential of life and it’s not always easy to find, especially clean water. Our water source here is a natural spring. Nothing is added to it. What a blessing! My skin, hair and nails all testify to the purity of that water. We take that bounty – hot and cold from the taps in our homes – for granted and much of it just goes down the drain. We use our dishwasher, clothes washers, take long showers, irrigate our lawns and gardens, fill our swimming pools. It’s a lot of fresh water.
In Cape Breton right now, we’re showering every other day and doing dishes by hand once a day, waiting for almost a week to do laundry. We hang it out to dry because the dryer is still broken from last summer and it’s summer now, so we hang it out anyway. It’s getting to be the Arkansas Traveler’s dryer. Maybe this year we’ll get it fixed.
We are eyeing parts of the yard for changes, pointing out places to add more day lilies (photo) so we can see them from the deck. Bob is looking up how to submit soil tests in our search for the best place to put any new blueberries. We are thinking of allowing the white phlox to have its way with the patch near the garage and moving the day lilies so they will have some friends on the other side of the house. Bob says the phlox (photo) was in situ when they bought the house, even before the garage was built.
As we discuss possible garden changes, I learn more of the history of how Bob and Jay put this place together. Her touch is everywhere, including a beautiful sea serpent sculpture named Emily near the other native apple tree. I tread gently here, making changes that make sense. I know she would approve of us getting rid of the pile of fill that has been there since they built the Ceilidh room.
This is the fallow year for the garden, the year we change its landscape and plan ahead for next year. Bob will give the native apple tree a haircut so we can see under it (photo).
There will be a tiny apple harvest this year but last year’s was enormous and we still have several dozen quarts of applesauce here. One year balances another if you’re lucky. And seriously, hasn’t this been a year for taking stock, looking at resources and deciding how to go forward? It seems an appropriate response given the state of the world.