Ornamental quince Toyo Nishiki.
As for me, I am also an import from a warmer country and I do not thrive in cold weather. For me, 37F feels positively so Siberian I must wrap myself in woollen shawls and feather comforters if I am to survive at all. Good hot chocolate helps keep hipothermia at bay and so do the comfort foods of the tropics. Piping hot black beans spiced with cilantro, garlic and onions, served over rice with orange salad or bananas as a side dish, are very good for the morale. So are Persian dishes perfumed with saffron and seasoned with sumac, Spanish stews and rich French soups. This is no time for delicate cups of consomme unless it contains generous dollops of cream and sizable splashes of cherry. It helps to read about warmer climates, too. Camilleri’s mysteries, which are set in Sicily are rough and brawny and their main character, Inspector Montalbano is as coarse as new grappa and just as welcome when the thermometer drops.
Watching the British police bash protesters over the head with billy clubs is not an edifying activity. Neither is reading about Michelle Obama’s wardrobe. Therefore I intend to skip further media’s regurgitation of events peripheral to the G20 conference. For heavens sakes, 720, 000 jobs just vanished from the American private sector and TV talking heads are discussing similarities between Mrs. Obama’s and Mme Sarkozy’s fashion style. Is something wrong with this picture?
Voltaire was right. One must cultivate one’s garden. Planting a veggie garden these troubled days is not only an economic necessity, it is a way of holding on to the sense that while the world may be out of control there at least one aspect of one’s life that is manageable–never mind the vagaries of the weather and the appettite of the resident deer herd. Today, I planted Asian veggies. Ice storms may blast my crops, Bambi may eat the lot. If that happens, I will replant. Heck, my First Lady dresses stylishly, non? What is more, she is prettier than the Queen.
I know that it is wrong to dig up wildflowers. In this case, however, there were mitigating circumstances. The plants in question grew in a spot road crews were about to douse with weed killer. Having seen them in action, I suspect that to local road crews, whatever grows somewhere other than Wal Mart’s gardening section is a weed. I am not talking about Gaia loving folks here. I am talking about fellows who would like to Agent Orange the whole of West Virginia so that it can be covered in low maintenance AstroTurf. These are the people who replace horse chestnuts, wild cherry, locust and Osage orange trees with Bradford pear trees so ubiquitous in the parking lots of American shopping malls. In my own village, municipal crews have been assiduously uprooting trees that do not fit into the Town Council’s plan to Street scape Main Street. Something tells me that by next year neat rows of Bradford pears will magically appear in the god awful cement boxes that are being built in the very heart of our historic district. Thomas Jefferson would weep if he see that democracy sometimes leads to eco terrorism.