Saturday, June 5, 2010


It's very strange out there today. Not hot, not sunny, not breezy, but humid, oh mercy, is it humid. Humid enough that the computer's acting funny. Oh well, I'll be quick. I finished the garden this morning, putting newspapers and straw around the peppers and celery, and repositioning the fence around them that keeps the rabbits, etc. out. I also roughed up a bit of ground and planted red and gold beets, putting Popsicle sticks at each end of the row so I know where I've planted. In two weeks I'll plant the next third of the row and then the final third two weeks after that. Last year my first planting did well but the second never showed. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that things go better this season. Now all I have to do is draw a diagram in my garden notebooks and write down the names of the plant varieties that we put in this year. It helps us remember what grew well and what isn't worth the space. I found a packet of scarlet runner bean seeds that I couldn't resist buying. The read-about seems to imply that people in England eat the beans while people in America just grow them for the flowers which attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Seems to me that we could maybe eat the beans too even though we are Americans, only time will tell. Do you grow a garden?

June 4--Hainan Island, China. The red characters carved and painted on the black and ochre colored rocks were a surprise. We asked Miss Lin, our government-provided guide, what they said. Expecting some political motto or an exhortation to be more productive, none of us were prepared for her expression to soften as she said, "It is a poem. You know poems, yes?" A few of us nodded so she continued. "This one says, 'springtime sun rises from sea to paint rocks gold.' The one high up tells of a bird flying to greet the wind. Very moving to have these words to look upon when in this scenery." She lifted her chin and we could see her pride in her country for the first time since the tour had begun. It was the beginning of a new respect for each other that made the rest of our journey together much better.

Sorry for the sappiness, it was late and I was tired.

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