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Friday, February 20, 2015

That queasy feeling the weird weather can give you

In this winter which, unlike that of some other people, where whole shopping malls are collapsing in the snow, we not only have dandelions and daisies up and birds nesting, but rain that should be falling and isn't. Meteorologists talk about the California drought, but half of western Oregon is in the zone, and we're feeling it. So here I am watering the garden.

There's not much out there, just three rows of broadbeans and half a bed of peas, but they need water to get started, so I have gotten out the hoses, replaced a couple of washers, connected it all together, and begun the irrigation year. Bit of a shock.

I also had broadbeans in front of the house, but I'm competing with the dog for that space -- it's where he likes to hide bones. So I've replanted and then upended the sieves over the beds for protection.

In the greenhouse there is the merest hint of green. I've potted on a few things from the flats, which was silly of me as they're not really big enough, but some part of me is impatient this year. I think I'm becoming afraid that my skills will turn out to be for nought -- that the climate will reach the point, in my lifetime, when nothing can really be done on farms and in gardens any more, except in sealed (and guarded) environments, and starvation sets in.

That's not so bad for me, as I've had a good run, but then a picture of the grandchildren appears in my mind. I do feel I've let them down.

But a friend reminds me we've really been in overshoot for over four thousand years. So, like, he's saying it's hardly my fault. What I'm feeling is, he adds, mostly liberal angst. "You'll get over it once it sinks in that all the prepping you've been doing will only give you, on the outside, about two years. And if you bring the kids home, half that. And if you bring the grandkids, half that." He chuckles.

I answer, "well, that wouldn't stop me. But your figures are wrong. I was raised a certain way, and so were my kids."

"What do you mean?"

"The grandkids would live two years."

"Oh. Yeah. Same here, actually."

"Yes. That's why you're my friend."

And we look at the greenhouse together in silence.


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