The secret to my mental health, as I have found in life, is to compartmentalize my concerns. I call them concerns because they aren’t always crises, sometimes they are obligations, often just commitments but, whatever the term, we currently have a lot on our plate. Everyone does and that is why we all need to be kinder to each other. Every one of us is dealing with shit.
We hosted our second annual garden party/plant sale last Saturday and it couldn’t have gone better. Thirty friends came by to have a glass of wine in the garden, buy some plants and enjoy the company of like-minded neighbours while we welcomed the final arrival of spring. I sold or bartered for 100 tomatoes and, maybe, twenty five other plants (squash, marigolds). It was a lovely day but now that it is done, I have one less concern on my mind. I can then move on to the next concern.
It never fails to amaze me that I ordered seeds in December, after spending hours perusing seed catalogues and then those seeds, after they arrived, were planted in individual peat pots on the dining room table in February. They then became plants that grew to stand almost four feet high in the greenhouse and have now headed off to their new homes to hopefully provide my neighbours with all of the tomatoes that they will need this summer. It’s a tomato miracle.
For privacy sake you will have to imagine what Mary’s head looks like while you notice how tall the plants are!
I can see me growing plants again next year. Of course, I learn something new each year, so there are always new plants in the mix. This year the sweet potatoes are the big experiment. The proceeds of the sale pay for my costs but I don’t do it for money, I do it for fun. Hopefully I am growing plants which my friends want. If not, they should speak up! I will grow whatever they want, but for me it is something fun to do during the long dark winter months.
With the proceeds of last year’s sale, I was able to buy heating mats and grow lights so we are now well set up. This year’s money will go to purchasing more potting soil as I work toward improving my rose propagation skills. For me, it is all fun and fortunately I have amazing friends who support my habit.
We are also still deep in the aftermath of the fire we had in December. As you all remember, we lost most of our belongings which were stored in the workshop that burned down. Our house is small, with windows for walls, so seasonally, we would move unneeded items up to the workshop to make room for our immediate needs. For example our Christmas decorations were fortunately down at the house and safe but our kayaks, fans, tents, coolers and magnetic bug screens were in the shop along with all of E’s tools and 300 bottles of my wine. Forty years of photographs and memorabilia, high school annuals, framed paintings, E’s grandmother’s stamp collection and every possible construction bit and bob were also lost. The grandkids’ swing set, trampoline and high chair, all of it gone.
So now we are dealing with the insurance agency. I have to say, although it has taken a while to get going, they are being really supportive and understanding of the complications of rebuilding on an off-grid island. It was, after all, not our house, just the outbuilding which was destroyed and we are grateful that, although we lost a lot of things, they were just things. It sounds like the insurance will help us build a very small workshop for E. The building doesn’t need to have as much storage as was lost because we don’t have much to store any more, but E can design something simple which will serve him well. After all, ironically, once he builds his workshop most of his construction projects are finished. Until the insurance claim is all wrapped up and sorted, it is a concern on my mind.
When you have children, they will always be your primary concern whether they are 7 days, 17 months or 37 years of age. We raised three amazing children who have been basically on their own since they left for university at 18. Our direct involvement in their lives was then pretty much put on pause. But, just like E’s Dad was there for us twenty years ago when we needed him, we will put our lives on hold while one of our kids needs us.
Life does throw complications into one’s way and, if E and I have learned anything, it is how best to cope with stress. For us, it is as a family, meeting one challenge at a time. Our family is foremost in our minds and everything
else is moot.
One thought on “else is moot”
Sounds amazing Moira. Sorry we missed it. It has been a year of travelling so it seems we are rarely on the island this year.