One of the greatest blessings of life is to have good neighbors. Nearby there is a family who we think the world of.
To maintain privacy, we will just call them the P’s. There is always a friendly wave when we pass by, and as is customary among country neighbors, there is the exchange of jars of honey, for perhaps a few tomatoes, or ears of corn. I suppose in the days before grocery stores, this was essential bartering. Now it is a jester of neighborliness that says more than words.
There was the huge bucket of freshly picked beans, squash and tomatoes brought by the day we moved in. Right out of their garden, with the morning dew still glistening on the top; the gift said, “Welcome to the mountain,” as beautiful as any housewarming we have ever received.
Mr. P’s garden, though typical of so many others nearby, is to us “city folks”, a sight to behold. It brings back such wonderful memories of my Grandfather’s garden and the times I spent summers at Mema and Papa’s farm.
There is something about a garden that is like a book that tells all about the family that plants and tends it. It has a beginning and end, each spring till frost. The way it is laid out speaks of the customs of one’s ancestors. The absence of weeds speaks of diligence and hard work. And how problems are met with resourcefulness speaks pages and pages about ingenuity and imagination. The day this past spring when we passed by and saw the dead crow hanging from a pole in Mr. P’s cornfield, I knew that was a story in itself.
There was the day one of their teen sons came by saying, “Mama sent these eggs to you.” The carton of fresh brown eggs were a real treat and once again reminded us how blessed we are to have good neighbors.
Millie loves her Frisbee and will retrieve as long as someone will throw for her.
When there is a lull in the action, she sits facing the driveway, hoping someone will come to visit that she can con into being her Frisbee tosser.
She needs a playmate…. maybe it’s time to think about getting another Lab to be her companion?
This week we moved the bee hives from our in-town apiary, up to the cabin property. The bees are finished with the spring wildflower production and it is time for the Sourwood trees to bloom in the mountains.
The nectar of this little bloom, found only in the southern Appalachians, produces the very best honey in the world. And since it is almost the only thing blooming at the time, the bees will make a unique pure Sourwood honey.
The apiary (bee yard) is surrounded by a solar-powered electric fence to keep out bears.
If you are interested in buying our honey, check out Mike’s Beekeeping website.
Look who I found lurking in the sink when we arrived at the cabin this week …..
We have lots of iddy-biddy spiders in the cabin. I mostly don’t see them or pay them much mind, just clean up their webs. After all, there are all those old stories about house spiders bringing GOOD LUCK.
Back in the 1500′s they would say, “When a man fyndeth a spyder upon his gowne it is a synge to be that daye ryght happye.”
Remember the passage in Mark Twain’s book when Huck said, “ Pretty soon a spider went crawling up my shoulder, and I flipped it off and it lit in the candle; and before I could budge it was all shriveled up. I didn’t need anybody to tell me that was an awful bad sign and would fetch me some bad luck, so I was scared and most shook the clothes off of me.” Then he blamed all his troubles on the spider bringing him bad luck.
I hear there is an Appalachian superstition that you should never kill a spider in the house. I think maybe the ever-resourceful Appalachian housewife found keeping the cob webs cleaned up in a log cabin, just as impossible as I do, so like Huck they found blaming it on spider luck to be a plausible rationalization. It worked for them …. it works for me. But I draw the line at GIANT spiders in the house.
So he only stayed in the plastic-tub jail until I could identify him, then I set him free, outside, of course.
I tried my hand at knitting this week. All I know how to do is the “knit and pearl” stitch that Mema taught me long ago. Enough rows of that, and add a little fringe on the ends, and voilà …. I had a scarf to send to my daughter in Denver.
I am sure that these old logs have seen knitting in the past. Of course those knitters would have tended and shorn their own sheep, washed and carded the wool, spun and then died their own yarn.
I don’t think I will be graduating into knitting sweaters anytime soon (that’s for sure!), but clicking away at an easy pace is a nice way to spend a lazy winter day inside a cozy warm cabin.