Tag Archives: CSA

Father’s Day

CSA Farm in New Jersey by Circespeaks

CSA Farm in New Jersey by Circespeaks

 

Holidays are not always happy.

Father’s Day, like all other holidays, brings with it expectations, often unmet. This year is my first without my father. Last year’s Father’s Day was a black day I would rather not remember, but I do. Though he was not diagnosed with dementia, & I don’t think he had it, he certainly had cranky old man syndrome. The insufficiently meek daughter–neither the adored wife, nor the ever pleasant son–was the target, of his ire last year & things didn’t work out well.
Last Father’s Day was also some sort of Swedish family reunion, with every nook & cranny of my parents’ place filled with talkative Swedes and their offspring. Most speak English, but my father understood Swedish unless spoken very quickly. He was, however, losing his hearing, and stubbornly refused to try hearing aids. Stubborn and probably vain: a normal, flawed human. So social situations were probably frustrating too him. Really, he had no interest in large gatherings, and just wanted my mother to himself. So sharing her with her large family was never much fun for him. He was an introvert.
My brother happened to be away last year on Father’s Day, so my father was pleased that his only other child appeared with a carefully chosen card. Father’s Day followed hard upon his birthday and our parents’ wedding anniversary, for which I produced gifts and baked a coconut cake, but a card may have been my only tangible offering that night.
We all had dinner together, and sat in a quiet area for a while, talking with one or two others.
Then I got up to play ping pong, which ended, boom! crash!, with my aunt’s husband falling down and hurting his foot. A few of us left to attend to his injuries and provide first aid. Never mind that Oskar was head of surgery at a large hospital before his retirement: his cuts were going to be scrubbed out & thoroughly cleaned. My cousin, Maja, and I, in pitiless nurse style, insisted.
After medical duties were performed, I started conversing with my Uncle Erik, sitting at the small kitchen table. There may have been a few Swedes around who had enjoyed the festivities overmuch, but Erik has touched no alcohol for many years, so we were having a sensible conversation. Suddenly my father flung open the cottage door and yelled at me: “Circe! It is time for you to take your family and go home!” This was odd since about fifteen guests would be spending the night, so our presence or absence was immaterial. Or so I thought. No one was going back to CA, Florida, Mass, Sweden, or New Hampshire that evening. Only to other communities north and south in New Jersey. I was shocked.
Here follows the part I wish I could rewind: I did not say “What do you mean, Papa?” nor did I say “Why do you say that, Papa?” I became upset, really enraged; I gathered my belongings, stood at my car waiting for my immediate family members, & said things I wish I could retract. I can be hot-tempered & cantankerous. Is it obvious from from whom I inherited those generally unproductive traits? Though not too useful in modern life, my “fight or flight” response is strong, and when cornered with no immediate avenue of escape, I tend to fight back, if only verbally.
Back to expectations: It turned out, according to my father’s later, revised version of the event, that he had been sitting in the chair where he was left. Rather than engaging in something else, he had been waiting for me to return and converse more with him.
Most years, I did not disappoint. I am sorry that I am left with this memory, but now that I have processed and written about last year’s incident, I hope I can relive happier memories.

Do any of you live with similar regrets? Though I wish all fathers, and their children, a “Happy Father’s Day,” life is imperfect and even tragic. These are often empty words.

On a more pleasant note, our boys helped their father plant a late-blooming native dogwood tree yesterday. Both are here today, & we are all about to go to our CSA farm to pick peas & strawberries & more. Their father seems pleasantly surprised, and presumably pleased, at all this attention. Maybe he managed his expectations well.

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My Slow (Boring) Life

Earth Pacific Globe (Wiki Common

Earth Pacific Globe (Wiki Common

Blues, basketball, bunnies, beer…honestly, how boring can it be? On a Saturday night, the comfortable isn’t always enough. I need to be outside of my comfort zone. There are more and less productive ways to get there, and I am up for either one!

More true confessions: sometimes I get bored on the days when I decide to practice the slow and simple life. It’s just that simple. Or I’m just that simple. Simple enough to write about my supposed simple life on my iPhone 5!

I biked to the pool, did a little claim-jumping–chairs, good spot, the usual–biked to the library, borrowed some books and a DVD, biked home to grab forgotten items & prevent DVD from melting, and back to the pool. The public pool. St. Circe is now boring herself to tears. So sorry, dear readers!

While others slept, Simple Circe was lavishing tender loving care on peas and romaine lettuce. If the tomato plants are wilting, you know it’s bad! A direct western exposure on a 90-plus degree day means over 100 degrees in the sun. Then time to hang the laundry on the line. For the record, my donated second-hand, mini-Miele did the wash. No down by the river, brook, or trough today or any other day. As mentioned, one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure.

Or is that confused, conflicted Circe? Despite my promise in an earlier post, my artichoke has yet to save the world. The little things we do just aren’t enough. They may be enough to assuage our guilt for a short while, &amp are, I firmly believe, never in vain, but they are not enough.

One “simple-lifer” around here just took a two-hour nap–yes, I’m jealous! That’s a simple act I would emulate if I only could! He is equally unconflicted about this evening. His unwavering plan is to watch the Pacers and Heat. I will join him. Watching a fast-moving basketball game slows down my own spinning wheels.

You knew the Pacers were going to win, didn’t you? They are an unusual team: A lot of 3-guards or small forward types. Coach can neither go big nor small, just medium-large. My greatest delight is to watch a ball-handler, a shooting point guard. But aside from more rimming out, it wasn’t a bad game. It is now Sunday, and I am still wrapping up Saturday.

What I cannot wrap up today or tomorrow is how I can remain a woman so divided: from franchise (corporate) sports late last night to a long hot morning picking organic strawberries and snap peas in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) field.

“Think Globally. Act Locally” is a fine sentiment, along the lines of “charity begins at home,” but we now live in a “glocal” world. The global is local, and the local–act, purchase, and vote–resonates globally. We first-worlders, whether in the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Denmark, or Germany, are but well-intentioned hypocrites unless we adopt radically different lifestyles.

See you at the Bread and Puppet Theatre later this summer? Or maybe along El Camino de Compostela? More opportunity for thought. But does raising political awareness and allowing oneself meditative pilgrimage time bring about change? Maybe you will have moved into your solar-powered geodesic dome house, and I will be left to puzzle alone.