I’ve never liked any sort of so-called domestic work. My mom loves to cook, bake, and sew. She tried to pass on the love of these things to me with no luck at all. She once gave me a sewing machine and after unsuccessfully trying to thread the thing I gave up and gave it to my little brother since he was actually interested and knew how to use it. But now things are different. We’ve moved to the Pacific Northwest and people just do stuff here like it’s no big thing. The day we showed up here from Arizona with our giant caravan of trucks, trailer and very helpful friends, all of our new neighbors came to welcome us with open arms. Our amazing gardener neighbor, Alice, had a garden all planted and producing a dizzying number of fruits, vegetables and herbs in our front yard. All for us. Just because. I had to ask her over and over to identify what was what. “Is this food or decoration?” Another neighbor, Mary, casually handed me a freshly canned jar of strawberry jam, made from strawberries right out of her yard. “You made this? Today? In your house?”. Mind blown.
Well we’ve been here just over a year now and I’ve canned strawberry jam, peach jam, peach jalapeño jam, marionberry jam, plum apricot jam, strawberry rhubarb jam, so.much.jam, pickles, and beets. Just about all of the stuff came from our yard or one of the other three I now help garden in on our block. I have a sourdough starter I made on a whim nearly a year ago, that I use to make wonderful sourdough bread, pancakes, and waffles. I’ve even shared it with a few people who now make their own sourdough bread. I picked currants from one neighbor’s yard and blackberries from Spencer and John’s yard and made delicious syrup. I was winging it without a recipe and ended up over-boiling it which caused it to turn into jam in the bottle but it was easy enough to fix. I used a boatload of tomatoes I picked along with a variety of, fresh from the yard, basil, thyme, oregano, parsley and garlic to make an amazing spaghetti sauce. I have made several batches of kombucha flavored with whatever fruit happens to be growing in the neighborhood. Kombucha SCOBY is the craziest thing! Look it up.
What the heck has happened to me? My mom can’t believe it. I can’t believe it. But living here makes it so easy to do all of these sorts of things. There are so many people willing to help. Not only that, willing to just give of themselves and the things they produce. It kind of makes a person want to return the favor. Not because one has to but because it just feels right and good. All of these things that felt like chores have become a pleasure and no amount of cooking and sharing I do will ever be thanks enough.
I still hate sewing though!
Today I learned about Taskwarrior, Mirakel, that you can cat a cert file and see the contents, and that :r in vim cuts from a file and pastes it into whatever you are editing. Nifty!