Wednesday, October 03, 2012

End of Season Thoughts

Autumn is a painfully short season here, it seems. Though the trees shimmered with gold this past week, it's cold and rainy today with a snow forecast tomorrow.

Of course, this means I have to pack up and leave - winterize the Mae Flower, disconnect from the sewer and pray to God that she fits in the shed. It also means that I have go through all my belongings and pack what I’ll need for my winter in Colorado, New Mexico, California and Mississippi. Much will be determined by what will fit in my pick-up. Hoooo boy.

I have mixed feelings about leaving, dreading and looking forward. Though I'm anxious to see friends and family and get re-aquainted with First World plumbing, I will miss being outside so much, watching the sunset every night and seeing billions of stars so clearly.

With the garden mostly dead, there isn’t much for me to do around here. (Though I’m still harvesting spinach, parsnips and carrots.) Tomorrow's Farmer’s Market is cancelled due to snow, which is sad. I felt like I was just hitting my stride as a produce vendor, and the people were just starting to get used to my strange humor. ("Lotta dollar bills there - are you a stripper?"

The SCRANCH market table.

Miles - Everything he makes is incredible.
However, I did celebrate a milestone this morning: Via Facebook, I had my first pre-order delivery of produce. I met a woman at her son's school in nearby Neche (about 10 miles east) to deliver her order of Moon & Stars watermelon, two dessert squashes, bunch of Yellow Pear tomatoes, several large red tomatoes and a heap of fresh spinach. This all took place about a block or two from where my mother was born - sweet, sentimental victory!

I'm now investigating how exactly to plant the garlic bulbs (soak 'em in seaweed juice first) but for the most part, my day-to-day work is done - I feel a little lost. I’m left with half a dozen watermelons, at least 20 dessert squash, buckets of tomatoes and seemingly thousands of Yellow Pear tomatoes; I have to find a home or function for all my babies - trying to eat as much as I can every day.

Everything here, I grew.
And even though my popcorn crop was mostly a bust (drought + inexperience = disaster), there are enough glistening black cobs that I was able to test out the popping. Alas, when I tried to pop them last night, it was no go. I think maybe I didn't dry them long enough after removing from the cob. Not sure.

Of course, I will miss the land but not the wind. I’ll miss certain people (especially Brent, Evelyn and Eldean) but not the lack of a social life. At this writing, I haven’t seen a soul in two days, save for Powerful Pierre yesterday morning, who yelled at me from his pick-up as I was jogging down the dirt road, “Faster, faster!”

Cosmic carrots
Mind you, I know how to entertain myself better than anyone I know. The most ineffective way to entice me in to doing something is to to say, "If you ever get bored, you should...." Let me be really clear about this: I'M NEVER BORED. Never, ever. But, socially, I worry about myself in the long run. What if I forget how to articulate? Start to repress? Lose my comic timing that has served me so well? Such are my thoughts.

I love the people of North Dakota, they are as nice as they day is long, as they say. But they do not like discussing their feelings. Honestly, it's almost British. I come from a narcissistic land of endless self-expression and back-to-back therapy sessions. I can do repression but it doesn't sit well.

You know it's bad when you decide to let moths stay in the camper, just for company. (They are so flustered and neurotic, I can't help but relate.)

Even as I was driving to Langdon (82 miles, round-trip) to get my specialized “SCRANCH” NoDak license plates for the pick-up, I was trying to figure out how I could make my dreams work here without being such a freakish loner.

Road to the DMV where there is no waiting.

No ideas yet, but we'll see what the winter brings. 


Always Home and Uncool said...

Stay warm ... a looong winter ahead.

Heather Clisby said...

Thanks for the encouragement. Best of luck with your running goals. I'm reading Hal Higdon's "Marathon" and it's helping me a ton.

quirkychick said...

I can only imagine how bittersweet it will be to leave, but how wonderful to have created this adventure for yourself.

We are finally cooling down from 100 degrees earlier this week, to a balmy 77.

Can't wait to see you - you've got a room in LA when you need it.

Heather Clisby said...

Thanks so much, Susie! Yes, I will be needing that room. Looking forward to playing in LA with you and the Princess of Fun.

Anonymous said...

The whole town will miss your antics for the long winter. What will they talk about without that lady in the trailer out there? Kirk

Heather Clisby said...

Ha! I didn't misbehave nearly enough for the stories to last. Too much weeding to do. Maybe next year...

SO looking forward to seeing you soon!

Maria said...

I thought this was your best post yet

Heather Clisby said...

Really? Maybe it was all that unadorned honesty. This is, after all, an imperfect experiment.

Anyway, I always cherish the feedback from you.