Tennessee Persimmon

When enough of these ripen, I’m going to make persimmon butter. I’ve found recipe, and it uses my Instant Pot.

There were two, maybe three persimmon trees on the farm my family owned. I remember yellow jackets, red wasps, and bees were attracted to the sweet, fermented smell of the persimmons that fell from the tree.

When I was little, Daddy not only showed me how tasty they are but also how to use them as weapons. That’s right, weapons. Get a long flexible switch (a small tree branch) and peel the bark off the end. The switch needs to be strong enough to stab through a green, unripened persimmon. Swing the switch back like you are casting a fishing pole and aim it at your target. Let lose and the persimmon whips off the switch and rockets through the air. If your target is human, OUCH.

Mom worked perssimons-as-weapons into her book, The Settling Place. It really must have been a thing back in the day.

Persimmons-as-apple butter sounds hospitable and peaceful. I prefer it over stockpiling them for ammunition.

Neither Snow nor Rain nor Online Forms from Hell

USPS Logo

I went to the local library today to fill out the information required for a background check. I had to provide addresses for places I’ve lived for the last 5 years, adresses and phone numbers for persons who can vounch for my having lived at these addresses, edication from high school on up, complete with addresses and the dates I received diplomas, work history with dates, names of supervisors, and phone numbers, disclosure of criminal record… Are you still reading? Why? This is boring.

It took an hour and a half. The email with the link told me it would take 45 minutes. I felt inept. I wanted a drink. I think most of the questions were there to help me prove I am who I say I am. Is there that much identity theft that this is necessary? I also began to think the whole thing was contructed to weed out people who weren’t willing to put forth the effort.

I was willing to put forth the effort. I’m going to like this job. I will get to be friendly in short bursts. I will work alone most of the time. I’ll get to see the world or at least one part of it over and over again.

I go for fingerprints the first week in October. After that I be given a start date. Unless there’s something off about the drug test or the background check, the job is mine.

I’m excited.

Catch Up

I feel wonderful! Which doesn’t make sense in some ways but makes total sense in others.

A year ago this month, I sold my home of eighteen years and moved to a rural county in Tennessee, a 1 hr 15 min commute to work, but hey, no problem! My position was eleminated on July 15th, so the commute isn’t an issue anymore. I’ve moved three additional times since the intitial move, but for three weeks now I’ve been living on the land where my forever home will be.

I sparingly use a generator (it’s as quiet as it can be, but it’s still loud), and I haul in the water that I use. I poop in a bucket. Most nights i fall asleep by 8:30, wake up around 1:30 or 2 and go back to sleep, then get up for the day at 5.

I am in a relationship with the kindest, sexiest, funniest man, and his being in my life is a blessed surprise.

On clear nights, right now, I can look straight up and see the Milky Way.

Fred and Gracie have adjusted to country living and are thriving.

I confirmed today that I’ll be paying over $800 a month for health insurance until the severence runs out in four months, or I get a job with a health insurance benefit.

I’ve applied for three assisant rural carrier positions after scoring ok on the assesment test. I peed in a cup today for one of those positions. My daddy was a rural carrier. There’s something special about the possiblity of me being one at the age of 54.

If I were to create pro and con columns and populate them with the above information, what would be the result? It doesn’t matter, because I feel the answer. Even if there are more negatives than positives, the postives outweigh the negatives. I have some things to work on. I want a job (to be honest, I want money to live comfortably), and I need affordable health insurance. But even so, I am happy, and life is wonderful.

This post is intended to catch you and me up. I want to write regularly about being here. It’s challenging (winter is coming), beautiful, and I’m surrounded by people who are wonderfully complex. I want to tell these stories. I want to tell my story.

When Kindness Suffers

“It hurts my heart when Kindness suffers,” Grow said to an empty house.

The injustice of it makes them question everything. Why? Grow asks. Philosophers, sages, mystics, and ordinary people have asked that question as well. There are no meaningful answers.

Grow can’t fix the suffering and they know that any attempt to do so will only make matters worse. Grow can’t ignore the suffering because Kindness’ sweet love is too beautiful to cast aside. Grow only knows to walk with Kindness through the pain.

That walk is like balancing on a flowerbed beam or a curb. If Grow loses their balance to the right, Grow will step off into taking responsibly for the suffering. One foot off course to the left and Grow will walk into suffering that’s all their own.

The way is tight and narrow. Grow takes each step with the reminder: I walk with you but I am not you. To suffer with means allowing silence to be. It means listening, sometimes without response. It means shared tears.

They walk together, neither completely understanding the other, but walking nonetheless. The walk is dark, lonely, sad, and exhausting. Even so, they acknowledge the presence of hope as they walk. Hope keeps them placing one foot in front of the other. They walk, hoping for an end of suffering. They walk, hoping that their next step will walk them into joy. They walk through suffering together because Kindness and Grow love each other and that love is the source of the hope.

They walk because there isn’t anything else to do.

Move

I’m looking at this landscape with the intent to blog. It’s been AGES. But I’m stuck looking. It’s so beautiful. I want to walk across the field and see what the camera side looks like. I’ll do that Sunday, weather permitting.

Oh. Did I tell you that I have moved? I haven’t moved here, but I have moved close, and I’m not finished moving.

Burn

My heart is the wick of a blown out candle. It once burned hot and cast warm light into the dark of night. Now it is cold and curled, bent over, burned, and covered with suet. A dark presence even in the light of day.

And yet, my heart exists. Is it waiting to host a flame again? Does it hold that memory? Dried as it is, just one spark would ignite and restore it.

Light the candle. Burn, baby. Burn.