This milder winter is certainly a blessing and a relief. More of my distress during last year’s winter was due to not being prepared with proper supplies and adequate food. All is going well now.
Haven’t had any real emergencies other than at this moment I’m staying with a friend because I have no heat in the house. Grain Growers will replace my propane stove soon.
Last summer, while bagging Imnaha country blackberries to freeze, I wondered if they would grow here in the valley. About four berries were placed in a glass dish next to the sink to let dry. I’d plant them soon.
As weeks passed I became worried about my eyesight. My eyes felt tired and weak from long hours on my laptop as I worked on the history book. I scheduled an eye appointment with an ophthalmologist.
In 2014 he had diagnosed a condition that would cause me to be blind in three years. Yet in 2015 that condition had left by following his vitamin regimen. That dilemma raised its head though. Is that why I was having trouble with my vision?
Cooler nights signaled snow was coming soon. As I puttered around the house I’d hear a bump in the kitchen that I assumed was Petey Pup and ignored it. My little garden plot in the back yard was already dug.
There was no sensibility in planting the seeds at this time of year ... it was more about holding on to my last chance to stick something in the ground.
I noticed tiny segments of the blackberries in the space behind my kitchen faucet and the wall. “How did those get there?” I questioned. But I scooped them up, grabbed the dish holding the others and headed out the door.
“There now,” I spoke, patting the dirt over the seeds. “Let’s see how this turns out.”
Within a few days, I found evidence that more were living with me than just Petey. Mice droppings were scattered in the cabinets and drawers under the sink. I stared blankly at the wall, then burst out laughing.
“Oh, smart, Katherine. I think you planted mouse turds in your garden!”
I explained my diminishing vision (but not the turd planting) to the eye doctor.
“Your tests look good. In fact, your vision has improved,” he looked at me. “Let me see your glasses.”
He held them up to the light. “Do you ever clean these?”
Pause. “Whenever I think of it.”
“How often is that?”
“Maybe once a week.” I felt two inches tall.
“How about three times a day?” he instructed.
Laying my head on the car door before unlocking it, I bemoaned, “It’s so hard being me!”
So now I cast a wary eye toward that bare patch of dirt by my fence.
Warming days coming and after the robins return, I will have to face the inevitable and examine last year’s plantings.
If tiny noses with whiskers appear, and beady black eyes return my gaze, you’ll be the first to know.
Katherine Stickroth is a freelance writer who blogs at awallowagal.com.