For the first time in 46 days, I have nothing to say.
I know. Stunning.
I suppose I knew it was coming. Once the planting was finished, and a glorious 10-week vacation started, time seemed to be in plentiful supply. Days stretched ahead of me with no clock to punch, and nothing to accomplish but what was important to me. Free to roll out of bed later than my normal 4:30, morning coffee time is now more of a ritual, and not so much a glamourless gulp-and-go.
Just days into two and a half months off from my full-time job at a local private college, I struck upon the idea to post a daily blog while I ramp up for the launch of my second book, using my recently located recipe storage box as inspiration. Most bloggers write once or twice a week, depending on their area of expertise, the strength of their following, and their personal desire. I'm no mathematician, but if I stuck to that pattern, I'd lack only 10 more posts to be finished blogging for the year. That's a lot of words.
I might have just run out. The word well is dusty today.
A blog post about nothing is an oxymoron, right? Maybe not. Jerry Seinfeld struck gold with a hit comedy famously described as "a show about nothing". Why would folks que up for years to watch a show about something? Its absurd.
But a blog about nothing? I may have to do better than that, loyal readers.
Freezing produce isn't as simple as it sounds. To kill the enzymes that cause vegetables to become mushy and unappealing while spending time in sub-zero conditions, they must be blanched in boiling water and quickly dropped into icewater to stop the cooking. Then they must be drained and dried. Once they're dry, they need to be spread onto sheet pans to freeze. Individually quick freezing some vegetables is helpful to avoid an awkward berg of vegetable matter, but is one more step in an already labor-intensive process.
Summer is a make-hay-while-the-sun-shines time of year around here. Every hot minute of the day must be utilized. Often, I don't even have time to wash my hair, and wouldn't want to run the hot-air blow dryer anyway. No need to add more hot air to the atmosphere! I'm grateful I don't have to face other humans during the summer. (Husband and children don't count as "other humans"). Cosmetics gather dust, and my hair becomes a Rastafarian's dream in the season's hazy, hot, and humid climate.
I don't care. But as the days become gradually shorter, I start to feel the other tangible reality of summer. Pressure. Not the rush-rush, get-the-kid-to-soccer-practice, please-the-boss kind of pressure. This kind of stress is real. If we don't get the work done, we'll be hungry when the bleak winter months come. Yes, of course we can go to the grocery store. Sure, winter farmer's markets are open for part of the cold season. But we want independence. We don't want grocery GMO produce that's been sprayed with God-knows-what. We don't want to be forced to eat commercial meat that's been raised in deplorable conditions, on hormones and antibiotics that pollute our human systems. We want to know where our food has been, and have the pride of knowing that the packed freezers are full of our own hard work.
As the word well fills, the clock ticks. Sunset will come one minute earlier tonight, even though this week will hold the hottest day so far, breaking a 391 day streak of under 90 degree days. Our livestock will need extra water. The upstairs bedrooms will be stifling. We may have to sleep on the sofas downstairs until the heat wave breaks in a few days.
I know. First world problems. Things can always be worse.
For a post about nothing, I might call this something. But the beans are calling. When writing pays the bills, (notice the optimism?) I can fend off barking beans. Until then, I must cap my pen and get to work.