Today was quite a day. As I wrote those words Debbie walked over and showed me a tomato she picked in the garden yesterday. Supposedly tomatoes are best when they are ripened off the vine for one day. We are beginning gardeners and we did attend a one hour gardening lecture last year, but then it was too late in the growing season to plant, so it was a waste of time. This year I went out into our back yard and dug some beds. There was no particular reason for the way I did it. Simply I noticed where the sun would shine through the trees for several hours per day and dug there. The beds were about three feet wide and ten feet long, because that seemed just right for reaching across from either side, so things could be planted in the middle and still be reached easily. After several ten-minute sessions of digging these beds, about eight inches deep, I had seven of them. I put on a layer of gardening dirt purchased at ACE, and then sprinkled and pushed seeds to the depth recommended on the package.

We planted a wide variety of leftover seeds we had from various unknown sources and we purchased some more. The radishes were supposed to be really easy, and they came up in a few days, but then vanished. We planted some more and they too vanished. I think we planted radishes five or six times and they came up beautifully, but always they vanished when the leaves were about a half inch wide. Someone out there really likes tiny radish leaves! Our biggest success so far has been lettuce. We have had an abundance of really tasty lettuce. We only eat the really nice looking leaves. Store-bought lettuce is just fine, but ours is noticeably more delicate. I could carry on about our garden, but today I had other non-things.

The UU lecture today was about one of our lady members’ several years experience as a commercial fisherman in Alaska. There was considerable detail in how to do gill net fishing from the tidal shore of a river outlet, and the emotional agonies and ecstasies of the problems she experienced. Before and after that pleasant experience we sang some sentimental songs. Afterwards, people hang out for half an hour or more and chat.

After that event I met Debbie at Dudley’s Bookstore; we chatted with Rebecca for a while and then went over to the Bend Burger for a tasty marionberry milkshake, and a strangely delicious veggie burger. Both of these places know us well and treat us as VIPs in our little world. While eating this burger I noticed the cars going by had roof racks, and commented on it to Debbie, then I started counting, and there was a string of ten random cars with roof-racks without a break; the break came with a car without a roof rack, but it did have a bike rack with three bikes. I don’t know why they call Bend, “poverty with a view” because it always seems to me like everyone has a superabundance of expensive toys. Earlier at the UU I had mentioned the boat on one of my friends’ roof racks, and the small group of people there launched into dissertations on their various kayaks and their qualities.

I knew that one of my politically inclined friends was showing a movie at the downtown library, so after lunch we walked the two blocks, and watched an hour-long DVD on the crisis in the Middle East. It was terribly depressing seeing how badly people could treat other people, but fortunately that problem is ten thousand miles away, and I have no personal responsibilities to any side. My thoughts are on how can we prevent anything of that sort happening here. After all this area was recently thought of as a garden spot of the world. During the movie I looked around and realized I knew almost every person in the room. Most of them didn’t know each other, because they were from different organizations that I attend.

After getting home, and fussing around doing household things for a bit, we walked over to the huge Hollingshead dog park, sat at our usual table, and talked to some friends for an hour. We do this several times a week, with a great variety of people. This time it was Larry, a clever old guy who lived many years in Berkeley, and Greta, a retired Bay Area school teacher with intellectual leanings. It was a delightful conversation, enhanced by an orange setting sun, a great variety of clouds, some with lightning bolts, and of course playing dogs. The evening light was sublime.

In the midst of all that daily frivolity I managed to do the month of February 2011 of Condensed thoughts for my catch-up thing on what I have written about in the past years. See Condensed Thoughts 2008, 2009, 20102011, 2012, 2013, 2014. I still have two years to go on this project, and then it will be posted in a more convenient place.