Tuesday, April 20, 2010


So I got my green thumb out this weekend. Took up my usual habit of potting tomatoes and herbs in the spring, but decided to get a little creative with it, you know throw in few extra veggies. My favorite summer vegetable is zucchini. There is nothing better than fresh grilled zuk’s. But I live in an apartment and while I have a yard, it’s not one I can plant in. Not only that I have devilish attack squirrels that scavenge on any plant that is not grass. (You should see the Hastas on the side of my apartment.) So I decided to try potting zucchini and cucumber. I considered peppers and strawberries, but just thought I wouldn’t get as much produce as I am hoping for from them.
So here you have it, a little mini garden, potted for portability and small, because it’s just for me. It was a bit of an adventure, since my back deck (where there plants will live) has no entryway except through my bedroom. So here I am hauling potting soil, plants, tools, water pitcher, and pots through my house. Then creating the mess and then cleaning up the mess and carting the trash back through the house. After all the work, I was more proud that I didn’t trash my house in the efforts. But honestly, not as challenging as I had thought.
Did my usual, rosemary, sage, chives, and oregano in the window box, I have finally given up on Dill; it smells wonderful but it’s so annoying it only lasts a month or so. After 5 years of doing this I have also learned that my favorite herb, Basil, is quite territorial, and will kill anything near it, so he stays alone in his own little pot, which works out well for keeping him indoors later anyway…. Then the ‘maters, always a Roma because they grow so well, and am going to try a Jet star. I had to get creative with the cucumbers since they require a trellis, I couldn’t find one that was small enough for a pot, but we’ll see. I will have to update later with a picture of the produce and let you all decide if the efforts look worth it.

The poor zucchini plant was very stressed out by the event, he is mound-less, but I think he will pull through

Monday, April 5, 2010


There is something special about home. My idea of home is so much different than most. I grew up in 5 different homes, and now my parents have settled 8 hours south of all of them. I have been to so many places I would love to call home, and have lived in a city, that I feel should be home. Most people look at the house where they grew up, the memories there, the smells, the sounds, or the stuff inside that the memories were made with, and become overwhelmed with this sense of wholeness. Somehow this isn’t the case with me. It’s so much about the people. I have traveled to so many places, and felt more at home in a matter of days than I have felt for weeks in another place. Home for me is always about the people who are there. This weekend I went to my parents house, and I was overwhelmed at how much it felt like home. Friends that my parents have only had a few years felt like friends I have had since I was 5, and family members that were there felt like they belonged there in that place. It was fantastic. Cooking with my mother, spending time with family, catching up with their friends and thanking for the prayers they have lifted up on my behalf.
Five years in Saint Louis and my parents home feels more familiar than my own sometimes. Saint Louis often just feels like the place where I work, it’s only been in the last 2 years that I have really felt solid connections to the city, people that I need and love, and a reason to stay. And yet, I haven’t have a need to stay, nor have I had a reason to go.
I absolutely love traveling to new places. I think I have been to 39 states in the US and 7 countries (as long as Geneva counts). That’s pretty good for my age. I mostly travel alone to see people, you know, old friends or family or meet new people. One of my favorite parts of my many trips is making friends with the people that surround the area I’m at; getting to know what connects them to that place. There are some great vacation spots in the world that everyone says they would love to live, but none of us really mean that. No one vacations to the Virgin Islands and says this is where I want to live someday. Except maybe me, I have definitely thought I could make a home in Haiti or Gunnison, CO, Minneapolis, MN, or Tauranga, New Zealand, Waco, TX or Lynchburg, VA, or Branson, MO, mainly because in these places I am a sucker for the amazing people that I meet when I go. It’s cheating a bit I guess, since these are other people’s homes, and not mine. I feel a bit like Dory in finding Nemo, at the end and she looked at Marlin and said “When I look at you I am home”, it had nothing to do with what part of the ocean she was on, but more who she was there with. But after each of these trips it makes me wonder if I have actually found my home yet and if not what is missing, and I think maybe I’m just chasing greener pastures. But seriously, what if the pastures are greener? Literally
I should be able to say I love New Zealand because it is just so beautiful, and It is so lush and full of life. While beautiful and green it just isn’t a mere vacation spot for me. There is this beautiful familiarity with the place and how my heart comes alive around such wonderful people. There are such deeply amazing people there, so warm, so free and adventurous and resourceful and loving people. They truly love and respect the land around them and work to enjoy what surrounds them day verses surrounding themselves with distractions. I left New Zealand almost 2 months ago and there is a part of me that feels lost since I have returned. That part wonders when I am going to rest again, let the windows fly open, and do without all the extras that creeping so quickly into my life. That part wonders if maybe I actually found my home.