Sunday, June 1, 2014


This photo of my Italian Honey figs in August 2011 after the Hurricane Irene passed by.  This year the figs, nearly killed by last winter's low temperatures, are slowly leafing out again, but no figs yet.  What bounty we take for granted until it's gone.


May 18, 2014

A gift is a thing we do not get by our own efforts.  We cannot buy it; we cannot acquire it through an act of will.  It is bestowed upon us.  Lewis Hyde in The Gift.

Without the gifts where would we be?
I live alone, work alone, wrestle with
my inner dilemmas alone; talk myself
into better spirits when mine plummet.
Then come days when I need other
people.  I forget the communal bonds
that hold me up until I fall.  My life
grinds to a halt because my truck’s
brakes aren’t working right.  Or is it
a bad tire?  I pull into a service station
I’ve driven past hundreds of times–
Speight’s on Fayetteville Rd.  I look
at the tires, which look okay, so I ask
for advice, and an elderly black man
says, “Just a moment.”  He was busy, 
late afternoon, but he comes to check,
agrees tires are okay, offers to drive
with me around the block.  I tell him 
to drive.  I already know how the truck
skews left when I brake.  Traffic is
bad on Fayetteville, but he’s a 
patient man, and the truck reveals
its problem.  Then he jacks it up and
shows me how the left front tire won’t
move.  “The front left brake caliper is 
frozen,” he says.  “Don’t drive on it–
you’ll make it worse, more expensive
to fix.”  I call for a tow and let my
faithful mechanic Al know it’s coming.
He says he’ll wait for it.  After it’s 
gone I call my friend Elaine, who 
doesn’t drive far from home these
days because of her diminishing
eyesight.  I explain where I am
several times.  I tell her she has 
passed Speight’s thousands of times.  
We go to the library to return and 
collect books for us both, then to 
supper.  I call my daughter, who
promises to fetch me home.  She’s
tired, but she comes, apologizes
for being cranky, but there she is
when I needed to get home to
the hens and Wag.  I live until 
Friday without my truck.  Denise
agrees when I ask if she could
take me to the Thursday farmers’
market to pick up tomato plants, 
buy strawberries to freeze for the
winter, a cuke, and tomatoes.
The rain does not dismay the
farmers, but by the time Denise
delivers me and my berries, she
has waded through puddles and 
been drenched.  I give her the
weekly eggs she buys and thank
her.  Friday Nova and John have
more plants for me, and my truck
will be ready in late afternoon.
I ask John if he could take me to
pick up my truck after I choose
the plants, and he graciously
agrees.  John hates being stuck
behind school buses or waiting
for a break in traffic on Highway
54, but we get to Al’s, who re-did
the brake calipers on both front
wheels.  Al is thinking of my
future safety and believes this
nineteen-year-old pickup still 
has miles in her.  Today I finished
planting John’s gift of tomato,
pepper, and okra plants, and
watered farmer Kenneth’s tomatoes
and Chris’s flowers–all gifts.
I think of all these strands that
came to life last Tuesday, which 
I didn’t imagine I’d need when 
I left home.  We so easily forget 
how gifts lift us, restore our faith 
in ourselves and in others, 
even in life itself.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely blog, Judy. Sometimes we forget to be grateful for the things others do for us or the little things in life. You are blessed with good friends.