The gluttony continues. It was Thanksgiving this week after all. My favorite meal of the year. We roasted a 16 pound turkey, made two cast iron skillets of my family’s southern style dressing made of cornbread, biscuits and various leftover breads out of the freezer. Moistened with turkey broth and flavored with lots of celery, onion and sage then baked till crispy and brown in the skillet in a hot oven. Served with sliced turkey and plenty of gravy it is unbeatable.
It didn’t matter that we were only four at Thanksgiving dinner, as the leftovers make up for all the hard work on the day. The next 3 days we had turkey sandwiches for lunch and at night we had a repeat performance of the complete meal warmed in the microwave. Last night I put together 4 packages of “turkey dinner” complete with turkey, gravy and a portion of stuffing for two and put them in the freezer for later enjoyment. Tomorrow I will make a turkey soup from the remains.
At night we sleep like bears in hibernation, 9 hours when possible and wake groggy from all the tryptophan in the turkey. Just another form of the greedy autumn desire to submerge. On the day after Thanksgiving I read the seventh installment of Harry Potter. I had been saving it for a good time when I could really dive in and dive in I did. For hours I sat going deeper into the page turner. I finally succumbed to bed at 12:30, woke the next morning and finished the exciting climax with my morning coffee.
In a trance a few weeks ago I ordered 800 bulbs. What was I thinking? They were mostly small bulbs I reasoned and would be easy to plant. Not exactly true when they came and I saw that even the little ones need to be 4-6 inches deep. Oh well, each day that I am working in the yard I put a few more in. A smattering of crocus here, a cluster of daffodils there, some blue muscari to create a pool of color in a corner or under a tree. Next spring they will bring much pleasure as they emerge and bloom from all over the yard and edges of the woods.
Yesterday I planted five small lilac bushes that the sweetie pie started from cuttings last year in a semi-circle at the bottom of the yard. I surrounded them with daffodils and crocus. My plan is to build a small patio, just large enough for two chairs where we can sit with a cup of tea, smell the lilacs, and gaze up across the orchard and lawn to the house and garden.
In a similar trance in the spring of 2006 we went to Scott Stone out near Mebane and bought 8 pallets of Pennsylvania field stone for walls and 8 more of flag stone for walkways and terraces, 26 tons of rock now sit on the east side of the house waiting for us to do something with them. The lilac terrace will be my first wall attempt I think, on the far edge of the yard, a good spot to experiment with my stone wall building skills and perfect my technique in a place that isn’t easy to view.
Whenever I come around that side of the house and see the stone I think,” there is my life’s work waiting for me.” There is so much to be thankful for that I can’t even begin to put it all down. I have stone and the time to lay it, bulbs and the time to plant them, and enough food in our fridge, freezer and garden to last us for months. Suffice it to say that life is incredibly good for us in this place and time and we are much more fortunate than many across the country and the planet that are torn by war, famine and poverty. This good fortune does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.