Archive for the ‘patience’ Tag

06-02-2013   2 comments

I thought I’d stop complaining about politics for a few days to begin complaining about Mother Nature and her lack of respect for me and my gardening skills. We seem to have the start of a summer with no moderate weather conditions.  For most of the month of May we had warm days and very cold nights.  We also were taken by surprise by a late frost or two that hit us with almost no notice.  The days were warm but the wind had a cold edge to it that just wouldn’t let up.  The frost ended up costing us a few dollars when it killed a number of the recently purchased cucumber plants.

In past years that would have set me off but I guess when you can’t do control something you have to move along and not let it make you too crazy. I replanted the cukes again after being assured by a nursery owner friend that we were safe from another frost.  Do we get a few days of moderate weather?  No effing way.

A week ago I was sitting on my deck relaxing and talking with my sister in Pittsburgh.  It was warm but still had a bit of chill in the air.  My sister was complaining about the heat wave they were suffering from and that the temps had been in the eighties for a few days.   We here in Maine usually receive the exact weather as Pennsylvania just three or so days later.  We had a day of moderate rain and then our heat wave arrived just as expected.  For three miserable days the heat was almost unbearable.  It was too hot to sit on the deck until late afternoon and sleeping became a freaking nightmare.  All of this weather and it wasn’t even June yet.  On top of the stifling heat the sun effectively roasted and toasted a large section of the garden.

So I make another trip back to the nursery for a few more replacement plants.  A number of other plants were slightly damaged as well but we were still hoping for a little rain to help them survive.  Three days later they died as well as did some of the latest replacements.  This kind of stuff is expected these days with weird weather patterns slowly becoming the norm.  It gives me a whole new understanding and appreciation of how it must have been back in the day when your life and your families life  depended on having a successful garden and crops.  Those old time farmers must have had a great deal of faith and a lot of guts.

Once again I replanted all of the cucumbers, watered them in, and prayed the weather would moderate a little with just enough rain to keep them healthy.  It was now the first of June and I hoped for the best.  Another mistake for sure.  I monitored the weather and soon became aware of possible thunder storms heading our way.  It began to rain and it poured for hours.  It was so bad that some of my newest plantings were washed out of the ground.  I’m beginning to get the idea that the gardening gods are messing with me.

If your going to garden you must be ready for almost anything.  Patience is required as well as a supply of really good cuss words.  They don’t actually help the situation but they do have the ability to make you feel a little better.
I’ve just replanted the cukes for the third and hopefully last time.

At the rate the grass is growing it should be knee high in a matter of days. That should give me something new to stress about.  Mother Nature is definitely not our friend so far this Spring.

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03-20-2013   2 comments

I’ve decided to have a quiet and restful day today to catch my breathe and relax a little. My better-half is off to work in my car since her vehicle took a hissy fit this morning and refused to start (allegedly).  I was awakened by her at 5:00 am from a wonderfully deep sleep to be brought up to speed about her car. It’s moments like that for me that test the limits of any relationship.

I became just conscious enough to tell her where my car keys were and for her to take my car.  I immediately attempted to fall back to sleep but as you all know once your awakened it’s sometimes impossible. I laid in bed for another half hour and finally gave up.  I threw on some clothes, had a cup of really awful coffee, and headed to the garage to address her problem.

You must understand that my better-half has super powers never before seen on this planet.  She is Anti-Technology Girl and has the ability to just look at a piece of technology or machinery and cause it to not work.  I cringe every time she walks by any of my computer equipment because sometimes that’s all it takes.  She has the ability to cause any device with virtually no moving parts to malfunction repeatedly but only when she’s using it.  It’s freaking scary sometimes.

She can pick up a brand new remote control that was working properly for me five minutes ago and have it fail.  I try to humor her but at times it’s just not possible. Her list is endless; computers that make errors that are impossible for them to make, her car that never had a problem starting  won’t start, and on and on it goes with no possible explanations from her.

Being the trained observer that I am I’ve come to the conclusion that the problem just might be her.  She can’t set the time on a clock, she can’t do anything on a computer without retraining every week, and I’m the guy who gets to spend his life following her around to fix these problems.

All of that being said I just knew that when I arrived in the garage this morning that her car would start.  I climbed into the car, turned the key, and it started immediately without any weird sounds or hesitation whatsoever. Oh, did I forget to mention what the first thing she asked me in my groggy half-awake state?  "What did you do to my car?  That statement alone should tell you the rest of the story.

It’s not often she’s rendered speechless about anything but when I called to tell her the car was fine I received a full five seconds of dead silence.  I should call the Guinness World Record people since in my experience that is a world record if there ever was one.

Now I’m free to go about my life knowing I’ve solved another of her hundreds of mysterious problems that seem to fix themselves as soon as I arrive.  That’s what every successful relationship is I suppose; give and take, good and bad, and about a ton of BS you both have to ignore to survive together. 

Ain’t love grand.

11-16-2012   2 comments

Patience is a virtue. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve been told that by family members and friends alike. I guess the reason I’ve heard it so often was that I lacked any patience whatsoever in years past. I was an overachieving, goal oriented, pain in the ass workaholic. For most of my career I worked six days a week and three or four of those days were spent in airplanes flying around the country. So not only was I impatient but I also had  a white-knuckle fear of flying which made me more than a little irritable. Not many people knew of my flying phobia and I never made anyone aware of it until much later in my life.  For years I was on the go constantly and when I made a request I was a major-league pain-in-the-ass about making sure it was honored. That included associates that worked for me, the people that worked with me, and any service personnel paid to do a specific job.

After twenty years I left the “rat race” and  spent the next seven years working for the State of Maine in a job that was hectic but not crazy. During that seven years I was able to dial it back a little and tried to be a little more patient with friends and family. I still had my moments but I felt like I was getting it under control. Out of the blue I began to suffer from severe headaches and fits of rage. Being the paranoid person that I am I found a doctor who ran a normal battery of tests to determine what my issues were. Come to find out I had been suffering from seriously high blood pressure for a number of years and was verging on real problems. The doctor directed me to find a hobby or two to help calm me down. The medication I was immediately given calmed me down in a big way. After so many years of high blood pressure I had a tough time adapting to being so calm. I felt like I was high all the time but I was assured by the doctor that would pass as I became accustomed to the medication. He was right and after a time I leveled out.

Now to find a hobby. I’d been a winemaker for years but not recently. Winemaking forces you to become patient, like it or not. Mix the ingredients together, put in the yeast, and you’re then required to wait up to three or four months to see the final product. During that time you have to baby that wine if you want a satisfactory batch. It actually helped me a great deal. I had been a half-assed photographer for years and returned to it gladly.  Nothing is more calming than communing with Mother Nature and hoping against hope to be in the right place at the right time to get that Kodak moment wildlife shot.

Yesterday was a sunny and reasonably warm Fall day here in Maine. I spent two hours sitting with my back against a tree out in the middle of nowhere attempting to get a photograph of either a bear cub or a barn owl. Three years ago I stumbled into a isolated area and sitting in a tree about 5 feet away from me was that owl.  He’d been sleeping and when I walked up he became frightened and flew away. He only flew a few feet before landing in a nearby tree. I took approximately 20 photographs of him in that tree from all angles. They were some of the best pictures I’d taken up until that time. I’ve been returning to that area for years now and have seen him flying above me but never again had him sitting in a tree. I’m now patient enough to eventually be successful.

The bear is pretty much the same story. I happened to be walking through a wooded area and I heard a rustling about 30 feet up a nearby tree. I looked up and sitting in that tree with just the top of his head sticking up from behind the leaves was a baby bear. I snapped one photograph and he ducked back into the leaf cover. Being the careful person that I am I knew where there was a bear cub there was also a mother some where nearby. I backed off immediately because I had no way to defend myself if she showed up. I’ve returned dozens of times trying to find that young bear and possibly get a decent photograph or two. Now that I’m patient person I may eventually find them but even if I don’t I’ve still succeeded.

What’s the moral of this story? You decide.