“Oh, They’re Like Amish.”

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These late summer days have found a familiar rhythm that I once knew, only this time it is less rushed.

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My gardens in this climate are amazing and the height of the weeds is pretty astonishing too.  Once I could no longer find the corn stalks I donned my clippers and headed into the mess snapping down the towering weeds and unearthing beans ready to dry for winter stews.  Orange and white orbs of pumpkins appeared and I set them on squares of straw to keep dry.  There is more to harvest than we can eat and I am busy preserving.  The root cellar takes on the comforting image I love of pristine stained glass rows of beets, corn, tomatoes.  Green beans, relish, and jams.  I am in my element.

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Sometimes I cannot believe that we own a house that we seemingly handpicked before we ever saw it.  An old adobe house with a root cellar, wood stove, chicken coop.

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I lean down and give a chicken massage to Eloise.  They got into the seeds I was drying and who knows where the shisho and radishes will be popping up!

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I dash around from task to task, starting bread dough, canning tomatoes, harvesting herbs, teaching classes from my front room.  The people of this beautiful place have already heard of me.  A young woman comes to my front door with a hurt shoulder needing a salve.  A large black lab (and his mom) comes for eye medicine.

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I have a housekeeper that comes once a week so I can spend more time doing what I want to do.  When she arrives I have one pocket of my Mennonite apron filled with beans and the other with a few eggs I have gathered.  The clothes on the line dry quickly in the warm sun behind me.  She told me, “My granddaughter asked me what my people are like.  I said, ‘Oh, they’re like Amish.'”  I stifled a giggle.  I asked her if she knew where I could get a cord of wood.

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