Recently I got to spend a week in Southwest Wisconsin visiting Mom and her Garden Buddy. What a pleasure it was enjoying this nice long visit!
With me came The Biology of Transcendence, borrowed from their vast library on a previous visit, divisions and seedlings for the ornamental borders surrounding their lovely, loving Ocooch Mountain home, a batch of Lawn Man's freshly-grilled, delicious, spicy jerk chicken, and yummy yellow pear tomatoes from our garden.
What a time we had playing in the garden, browsing old photos, sharing generations of family letters and stories, going to town for a physics lecture at the university, experiencing two of their favorite ethnic restaurants, enjoying two magnificent foreign films Mom's Garden Buddy (a/k/a Social Director) selected, and seeing Michael Pollan's excellent, thought-provoking talk together.
K, my oldest daughter, joined us for the weekend. Mom's Garden Buddy, K, and I got a workout harvesting a ton (well, more like 75-100 lbs.) of potatoes. K and I came home laden with veggies from their fabulous garden and delicious organic apples from their orchard, enriched by the experiences and fond memories of our delightful visit.
To give you an idea how awesome their garden is, consider one of the delicious, beautiful Kuri squash brought back home. The squash on the left is from their garden, and the one on the right is from ours. Kuris are typically small squash, averaging two to three pounds. My squash weighs in at 2.5 pounds, about the size of a typical acorn squash. This one from their garden weighs a whopping 9 pounds, and many of them were even larger.
Besides visiting with Mom and her Garden Buddy, one of the pleasures of the trip is enjoying the natural beauty of their land - exploring the woods and rock formations, beholding the ancient, forest-covered mountains, observing multitudes of birds at the feeders, surveying the stars, (which seem so much more numerous in the inky, rural night skies than they are here at home,) and keeping eyes and ears alert for the wildlife that share their land.
I heard packs of coyotes howling at the moon, enjoyed birds at the feeders off the deck, watched deer foraging in the woods, and spied a small rafter of wild turkeys enjoying their breakfast on a slope near the woods' edge. The turkeys are shy, alert, and challenging to photograph. Aware of my every move, it wasn't long before they retreated back into the woods.
It's a joy visiting Mom and her Garden Buddy, playing in the garden, and basking in the warmth of the love we share.