This warm/cold weather has spread mass confusion in the plant kingdom. Our blueberries are trying to bud out and the pear tree has already started popping out blossoms. The quince is blooming, pink and white and I’ve seen bursts of yellow forsythia and jonquils blazing from the roadside. I’m afraid they’re in for a shock when the temps plunge again.
Speaking of “shocker,” we all had a rough day on Sunday when the Dirty Birds were thwarted in their bid for Super Bowl glory. I don’t even follow football and I had been caught up in the RISE UP fever. Johnny and I were listening on the radio, so we celebrated with the rest of the metro area as the Falcons led at halftime. And we wept bitterly as the initial lead dissolved, leaving San Fran on top at end. We went to get a biscuit the next morning and I expected the game to be the main topic of conversation on the “regular guys” table. Surprisingly, it wasn’t. They were too heartbroken. I did hear one of them say he had designed a new bumper sticker that said, “Go Go Falcons! Take the Braves with you.” At least Bama won. We can all rest easier knowing that.
New calves and lambs are making an appearance on the farm, making me aware once again of the circle of life. One of the lambs is a little “slow on the uptake” and can’t quite figure out the whole “nursing” thing, so my brother in law had to bring it inside to bottle-feed it. Currently it’s living in their garage in a Rubbermaid tote. I went by to see it. It was, of course, adorable, with its pure white wool and black tipped ears. When I knelt down to inspect it, the lamb looked at me adoringly, expecting me to produce a bottle of warm milk. I didn’t dare feed it. There’s nothing cuter and more heart-warming than a bottle-feeding lamb and I knew if I fed it, I’d probably fall in love with it and have to bring it home. And the problem with lambs is they invariably grow up to be sheep. Much less adorable.
I had to tear myself away from the farm today and come into town to work on my column. The paint and polyurethane fumes from the kitchen renovation project have driven me out of the house. I’m not complaining, mind you. That means there’s progress being made. Johnny estimates we’re at 36 percent completion. He’s got the upper cabinets built and installed, the Sheetrock repaired, primed, and painted and the lighting installed. He still needs to build the lower cabinets, tile the backsplash and put in the flooring. I try to help but mostly end up getting in the way, so we’ve changed my role from carpenter’s assistant to “head cheerleader and lunch cooker.” Hey, that’s important too.
The coffee shop is always an interesting place to work. I got here early and acquired some prime real estate — the couch against the wall, next to the front window. I know it’s prime real estate because I see people come in, glance over and grimace as they discover me sitting here in their favorite place. But I’m not giving it up. Not until my computer battery dies, that is.
I must admit, I often get as much people watching as working done here, though. I see lots of hip girls wearing tucked in pants and boots and guys with stylish facial hair. There are people locked in deep conversation and sipping no-fat lattes. There are entrepreneurs passionately discussing the infinite possibilities of projects they’re working on. There’s a table of ladies drinking hot chocolate and knitting. There’s a guy sitting along, texting frantically. A stylish lady just came in with a rolling suitcase. I wonder if she’s just getting home, or on her way somewhere.
A guy sitting on the couch across from me is reading something on his I-pad. He’s reading slowly and seems to be savoring a good book. He’s tapping his foot in time with the music. He’s young – probably a college student — wearing old jeans, new boots, and a bushy beard, although to my eyes, he doesn’t look old enough to even shave. A typical coffee shop patron.
I have also discovered the coffee shop is a great place to catch up with friends and neighbors. Invariably, I see folks I know here. They stop by, pull up a patch of couch, and tell me what’s going on in their part of the world. We swap tales of woe, joys and blessings, weird weather stories – in general, we just chew the fat. And I’d far rather do that than finish my column.
Gentry, a Carroll County resident, writes a weekly column for the Times-Georgian.