by Charlene Burgi
Last year’s American Idol winner, Scotty McCreery, cut a CD that went platinum shortly after it came out. The CD included a song called “Dirty Dishes” that tells a story of a mother who, while saying grace, is thankful for noisy children, slammin’ doors, a never endin’ messy kitchen and dirty dishes.
Listening to that song gave me pause for thought. I came up with my own list, though not in the poetic form as found in the song.
I am thankful for 60 pounds of tomatoes that wouldn’t turn red this summer because it allowed me to can, dehydrate and freeze whole ripe tomatoes after the weather cooled.
I am thankful for piles of donkey poop that need to be cleaned up as it means the four donkeys are here safe and sound after two of the jennies wandered the range for five months before we found them. I am also thankful for the manure they produce that adds rich organic matter to the garden.
I am thankful for aphids on the cauliflower growing in the greenhouse as it gives me an opportunity to use Bay-Friendly knowledge to organically eliminate them and a drive to learn more about greenhouse gardening.
I am thankful for farm equipment breaking down, rabbits in the garden, snow to shovel and fields to plow. These things mean I live in the country, which is a dream come true. It also means I am thankful for a husband that knows how to fix, repair, create and build to keep our dream-come-true running smoothly.
I am thankful for the challenges found in the garden for they give me topics to write about so we can collectively find good solutions. I am also thankful to Ann Vallee who edits my work every week and puts the gleaming shine on the weekly blog, and to Libby Pischel for creating the position at Marin Municipal Water District that provided an avenue for me to continue writing the blog that kept me grounded in a year of turmoil.
I am also thankful for the turmoil that brought family and dear old and new friends close by to help us in Lassen and Marin. Those people in our lives are far too many to name, but they filled gaps that Jack and I were unable to fill during a year of family illnesses and losses. These people were there to share their love and support in ways beyond measure. For that we are eternally thankful.
I am also thankful for you, the reader. Each week I feel a connection to you as I write about the common passion we share—the good earth under our feet, the dirt under our fingernails and the joy of seeing beautiful blooming flowers, a garden loaded with edibles, and birds and butterflies flitting about as they relish in our works.
It is a time for thanksgiving and there are so many things to be thankful for. I wish you all a blessed one.