Last night was a first-we nearly hit a cow on the road. Yes, only in North Dakota. We turned onto the five mile gravel and a little ways up I noticed a dark blob on the left; it was dark and thought maybe it was the shadows playing tricks on me, so I continued on. Suddenly, it was right in front of me to the right-a large black Angus. Its butt was facing me and as it turned its head, I swear I grazed the chin and if I look closely at the car, there is probably drool on it…Deer, fox, raccoon, pheasant, skunk-I thought I had seen it all until last night. How it didn’t get spooked and hit us (or vice versa) is beyond me. My car would have lost that fight as my track record with cows is poor. My husband discovered my running prowess the first year we had cattle when a momma chased me in the pasture while he stood there laughing. So much for my knight in shining armor.
There are no less than twelve boxes of tomatoes in the sun room awaiting processing and more in the garden to get off the vine before it freezes later this week. By the weekend, I will have salsa, onion pepper relish, and spaghetti sauce done…I hope/wish. All the potatoes were washed and put in storage yesterday-wow, we had some huge ones this year. My hubby likes them because he is usually the potato peeler for catering. In a month we’ll peel the small ones and can them for potato soup, salad, etc. I love canning potatoes-they are great in a pinch. My mom gave me more jalapenos (sigh) but I threw them in the fridge until mine are harvested and maybe they’ll get processed next week. Maybe. The onions will get pulled, pumpkins/squash harvested and the garden will be empty. The fall raspberries are finally producing in time for the freeze-which is why I hate growing them. Are they delicious? Yes. Are they a pain in the tush to pick? Unless you prefer the thorns, yes. Yesterday was the first time I could pick without the bees buzzing about; I was worried about bees until I realized they were having a large party in the raspberry patch-one I am not invited to attend. So, yes, the raspberries look great but like a Kardashian, their beauty won’t last.
Our cats like cantaloupe. Who knew? I threw all the peelings and insides onto the garden and they went nuts. Maybe I should put that in their bowl instead of food. All five followed me out to the garden yesterday; I was just going to toss the peels and go back in when the tomatoes started calling my name, begging to be picked. Two hours later, I had all those flats and had missed a dozen phone calls. Yes, I left my phone in the house because I thought I’d just be gone a few minutes. Who knew my son was going to call and want to know the place of his birth? Not me. I like not bringing the phone out there because it’s my one place of solitude. No artificial noises, no people, just the produce and me.
I went home to Appleton, MN, this weekend and loved it. It wasn’t a long trip, but long enough to share some laughs with good friends, take a long walk around the town and reminisce, and remember why living in a small town was a good thing. We knew the houses by who lived in them while we grew up, said hi to people who hadn’t seen us in twenty years, and felt safe the whole time. I feel for children in big cities; they don’t experience this and are missing out on a sense of community you don’t get in the suburbs. I’m glad I’m just a ‘small town girl’ as Steve Perry once sang…
The weather has turned, the threat of frost is imminent and there is much to do. Take a minute out of your busy day and look around at all we have to be thankful for-and while we’re at it, let’s protect it from those who threaten it. Here’s a picture of the potatoes-I didn’t use a tape measure this time, but they are larger than a softball. These will make some delicious mashed potatoes, or French fries, or hash browns, or scalloped potatoes…the list goes on and on.