Sprouting time

It seems contrary but this Thursday I started my first seedlings in the storeroom: two kinds of broccoli, 2 kinds of red cabbage, bok choi, salad bowl lettuce [it’s not the best lettuce but it can be started indoors and transplanted so we get salads earlier than the six kinds of lettuce I start in the ground], curly and flat leaved parsley and cilantro.  It raises my spirits to start seeds, an assumption that of course spring will come no matter how cold it is now, and it’s cold all right. All the seeds I ordered have come and are sorted.  I have eight envelopes full of packets of seeds for each of the eight weeks of seed starting. 

Monday we had our first real snowstorm of the year.  It wasn’t much of a storm, no high waves, no high winds, just plain snow.  We got five inches.  It’s gorgeous especially when the sun ignites it.  It has mostly fallen off the trees and bushes, but there’s still plenty on the ground.  Normally I like winter, and indeed I’m getting plenty of writing and other work done.  But with my ankle in Das Boot, I can only get a pair of sneakers over it so I can’t wear a winter boot.  I don’t trust the traction of sneakers on packed down snow or ice.  Therefore I’m really confined to the house. It’s starting to get to me. I miss going into Boston/Cambridge/Brookline every few weeks.   There’s a poet friend –she took my workshop; afterwards we became friends.  I’d love to get together with her in Boston.  She’s a really good poet and has a strong connection to Greece, which I share to a much smaller degree.

I’ve been writing lots of poems and sending some out.  There isn’t a plethora of programs that interest me on TV at this time of year, so I’ve been watching Netflix some instead.  I’m not reading novels because I’m working on my office, going through old files. I dip into poetry books but I haven’t been able to get into a novel for three weeks.  Among old files, I found a short story I wanted to include in my collection THE COST OF LUNCH,ETC.  but I couldn’t find a copy of it.  Now I have it but don’t know what I might do with it.  It needs work but it’s a very strange story, more like a fable

A couple of mild days have thawed enough of the snow so that we plan to go out to eat tomorrow night with Dale and Stephen.  Woody has eaten out occasionally during this long convalescence with my ankle, but I haven’t done so in at least two months. I love the winter normally but since my sneakers aren’t safe on ice or snow, I have been housebound. A friend came to visit yesterday – she’s in my poetry group that meets here every month.  Once reason I feel a strong rapport with her is because she has lived an full and adventurous life.  She has traveled, had affairs and experiences, worked at many jobs and we’ve both lived in some of the same cities – Chicago, San Francisco

In its poetry and art and jazz heyday, Paris, New York.  There’s a kind of sophistication which isn’t trying to be trendy or cool, but just knowing a lot about herself and the world from those rich experiences, even the painful ones.

The birds are just beginning to make some of their spring calls, but only on days like yesterday when it’s sunny and mild.  I still miss my friend Dan who died last spring.  There were so many things we shared and things we did together, besides exchanging poems and dinners.  Some days it really hits me that he’s gone. 

Woody has been taking advantage of the mild weather this week to clean out the greenhouse [in the winter, we use it as a shed] and check out the heating pads in the storeroom downstairs where I start seedlings and in the greenhouse.  We still need to set up the thermometer with probes that reads the temperature in the greenhouse to a monitor in our livingroom.  Then I can tell when it’s getting too warm or too cold in there.  Very important, as I don’t wish to lose the seedings I’ve started.  You can’t buy at any nursery the particular types of veggies and flowers I want to grow.  And here they’re raised organically from sprouting time.

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