Do I have to? I don’t want to put on my shoes, and it’s freakin’ cold outside, and now even doing last night’s dishes is starting to look good. But if I don’t get my butt out into my garden every other day or so, especially now that it’s wet and cold, those ripe red raspberries will grow moldy and drop off the vine into the dirt. And because I am the daughter of a Depression Baby who ate tuna salad that was green and fuzzy rather than let it go to waste, those fallen berries haunt me like fuzzy green ghostlets. Waning daylight pokes at me like a sharp stick before I finally get my fanny out the door.
Once I get going, I always wonder what took me so long. Sure, a spider might drop down in my face, but I try not to scream—it scares the neighbors–and toss the whole bowl of berries into the air like juicy fireworks—all those perfectly good berries hitting the dirt would send my poor mother spinning.
But I can’t hear the robins singing from my armchair, and I enjoy listening to the neighbors calling their kids in for supper. And while my hands are busy, my thoughts carry me to unexpected places. This evening I spent a little while with my Grandpa Gus, remembering how he would turn us loose in his garden to fill our bellies with sun-warmed berries. For the grownup me, the icing on the Forced March Out to the Garden Cake was a colander brimming with raspberries, which turned out to be the filling for the pie.
In the garden I had a quiet moment to reflect upon the writing life. If you’ve been a writer for more than fifteen minutes, you’ve already heard that if you want a piece of the pie, you need to establish a social media platform. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, other ones of which I’ve never heard so I can’t even spell them, and a blog. Kristen Lamb, the social media expert for writers tells us to blog at least once a week, ARGH! But three posts would be better. TRIPLE ARRRGGGHHH!
I was born an old dog, and new tricks don’t come easy. My long suffering husband had to drag me to the computer (what is that thing and why are you making me touch it?), tie me to a chair, and force me to learn how to use it. This happened only about a hundred times before I was willing to trade in my quill for a Mac. Now writing equals cut and paste, and I use my quill for dusting the keyboard. Then came e-mail. (Why bother with that when I can’t keep up with snail mail, and it probably won’t catch on anyway!? ) But you can’t hold back the tide with a teaspoon. E-mail and the internet were keepers, too; without them I couldn’t run a business, network professionally, or find nearly so many fascinating ways to procrastinate.
I’ve been pretty good about keeping up with the raspberry harvest this year. If I can do that, I reckon I can learn one more new trick, and keep up with the blogging. So here I go.
Copyright 2011 Naomi Baltuck