Craig’s truck made some nasty noises last week on his trip back from working at Brian’s house, and it was labeled ‘condemned’ when he dropped it at the shop–too many things wrong and rusting to drop more money into. Digging through for the title, I found the original window sticker. The old F150 cost us $14,000 and lasted 14 years for us, and I am sure we got our money’s worth from her.
We donated her to The Mothers Center today. The guy came to get the title this morning, and a salvage place picked it up later in the day, complete with the perfect background music blasting out the flatbed tow truck windows: Willie Nelson, singing “You were always on my mind”:
“Maybe I didn’t love you
Quite as often as I could have
Maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have…”
It was a melancholy but bearable goodbye until little A, standing on her chair at the front door began yelling/crying “I don’t want Daddy’s truck to go away like this.” Then we all got weepy. Craig caught the sad goodbye on video to share with the world:
It’s the end of an era for us, the last piece of equipment that belonged to our long-dissolved landscape company. Old truck, I could hear you coming down the road, transmission whining, from a mile away. In recent days, you often smelled of spilled coffee, fish and bait. In your heyday you hauled tons of stone and mulch and compost, plants and tools to many a landscape job. You transported half of our belongings from upstate NY to Long Island over several (usually rainy) trips. You picked up many a tag sale treasure and curbside trash for our collections. You were scratched, your upholstery was ripping, your radio tuner was broken and had to be tuned with a golf tee that stuck out of the dashboard. Your second gas tank couldn’t be filled any more because it leaked. But you were our first purchase of something major, “new”, together, way back then. Little did we know that just two weeks ago, when you hauled that load of debris to the dump on Shelter Island that it would be your last. Now we say good bye as you ride off to be recycled, going to some salvage yard to sit and be pulled apart into useful remnants to keep other old trucks running for years to come.
Saying goodbye was bittersweet. Rest in pieces, old friend.
A rant on how artificiallly colored mulch is now yet another symptom of a failing, sick society. Two recent mulch ‘incidents’:
1. Craig went to Home Depot to buy some bags of soil amendments and mulch. After much searching, he discovers that the only bagged mulch they sell is all DYED. Choices being Ronald McDonald Red and Black. They no longer offer natural brown or natural reddish-brown cedar mulch.
2. A friend who is an organically minded, natural living enthusiast purchased 3 yards of mulch, bulk, delivered to her house this week. Her goal was to mulch her gardens without the waste produced by all those bags. She consulted with me a few times–here’s a loose interpretation of one of our conversations: S: They said it’s triple ground me: that’s good, that means it won’t have a lot of stringy bits in it. S: They’re delivering it today me:fast service–good, what kind of mulch is it? S: I don’t know, they said it’s black me: natural black or is it dyed? S: OH NO! (click, hangs up phone) S: (calling back 3 minutes later) It’s dyed black aargh!
Of course, the mulch company had already charged her credit card, loaded the truck and were on their way to her house, so she spread it around, probably grumbling quietly to herself the whole time.
My point in this post is this: What the heck is wrong with society that we need to add color to mulch? What is the source of the pigment? Is it water based or will it leach out and eventually poison the groundwater some more and kill all the plants around it with yet more petro chemicals? Are we so vain that we need ‘designer’ mulches to match our designer lifestyles? What is so wrong with the plants being the important element in our gardens? Mulch is meant for weed suppression and moisture conservation. It is not ‘makeup’ designed to dress up lost cause landscaping. If your yard looks that bad, I promise you that orange mulch isn’t the answer to your problems, really.
IMNSHO, this is yet another symptom of a society that is really, really ill. I realize that nobody’s perfect. We all have things that we do/buy/wear/eat that are maybe not the best for us and the earth in different ways. Some of this stuff is just part of living in this society, some is unavoidable, some of it can be chalked up to the choices we make as individuals for whatever reasons. For example, I understand if you want to wear purple. It happens to be my favorite color. It takes dyes to make clothing in colors, and without some color, life would be boring. There is a long standing tradition of dyeing cloth. Food coloring is another example. My family chooses not to ingest this poison, but I realize that it is an old product that people find difficult to eliminate, or are so used to thinking is benign that they don’t realize it’s a petroleum product (yeah, really–makes you think twice, doesn’t it?). What I don’t get is why NEW products that are perfect the way they come (from nature) are adding to the list of pollutants and chemicals in a day when the effects of this stuff is so brutally obvious…terrible allergies and asthma, rampant cancer rates, global warming, trash piling up all over the planet. Honestly folks, why can’t we just put natural stuff in and on our yards? If you need something exciting, plant something that actually BLOOMS in your garden, instead of that buttload of ugly evergreen shrubs sheared into pompoms and gumdrops and cubes. And keep your nasty chemical dyes the hell out of the mulch. It really burns my britches, my eyes, and the earth. Can you just give nature a chance this one time? I beg you.
We took off last weekend for a much needed recharge/getaway. Drove off on Saturday morning early (well, around 8:30 which is early for us!) and headed to Vernon CT for the CT Sheep Breeders Association’s ‘Sheep, Wool and Fiber Festival’. It was a nice, smallish fiber fair–just perfect for a few hours of fun. There were plenty of animals…sheep being sheared, a sheep dog (Border Collies) demonstration, a few Alpacas, and some Angora Rabbits. Oh the bunnies…thank goodness we didn’t come home with another one this time around. Me to Craig “…yes that one is cute, now put him down and step away from the rabbits, dear.” You’d think the 4yo girl would be the bunny collector, but no siree, it’s her Dad who is the one I have to keep an eye on when shopping the fiber fairs! Whew, narrow escape…. Of course, he attended an hour long demo on German Angoras and learned a lot. I think eventually that’s the breed we’ll end up with. The woman who did the demo has 30 of them, she shears them 4x a year and gets around a POUND of fiber off them each time, Wow!!! That’s a lot of bunny hair (with the going rate being about $5 an ounce!)
The fair also had a nice assortment of vendors, mostly with naturally colored fleeces and rovings, some lovely handmade fibery things, sheep and goat milk soaps, fibery tools (though no lendrum wheels or ashford country spinners there for me to try out, waaaaaah!), sheep cheese and yogurt, a cool sheep to shawl contest and more. I only ended up buying about 3 pounds of fiber…not shabby but not ridiculous overkill. I got some lovely prepared roving to spin, a pound of short fibered ‘felting’ roving, and an alpaca fleece that was going for ridiculously cheap prices at the end of the fair. Hopefully it’s in as good shape as I think it is. Anyhow it’ll keep me busy (as if I didn’t have enough fiber to last my lifetime already, heh). Overall the fair was just right. Full but not overcrowded and a little fix to keep me going until Rhinebeck this Fall!!
We spent the night in a nice hotel and on Sunday we drove to West Hartford and shopped at the Whole Foods for some things I needed and some lunch stuff for a picnic, then headed to the Children’s Museum there so little A could have some fun that was all her speed. It was a great museum with just enough to keep her interested for a few hours–more animals, lots of space info, a bubble machine and tons of hands-on kid science–Very nice! Then we drove around a state park trying to find an entrance. We could see the picnic area but all the gates were closed and there was no way in but to park on the road and hike in quite a distance, which wasn’t going to work with our hungry bellies and two kids to schlep and not even a backpack in the car. We gave up and finally ended up eating lunch at an empty baseball field on the bleachers, well after the sun went in and the temperature dropped quickly…ya win some, ya lose some, right?
Regardless, it was a relaxing weekend that we needed…fresh air, sunshine, a relaxing drive in the country. Just right. Now back to your regular (busy) schedule.