Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas Morning Musings

 Christmas has come at last!  Not soon enough in this discombobulated mid-COVID world or, do you think, too soon and too fast come round again?   ProfessorRoush is between extremes this morning with no clear path to decide.  Christmas, on the one hand, means we're closer to January 1st, closer to saying goodbye to the hell-borne year of 2020, closer to the moment when we vaccinate enough of the population to return to normalcy, or whatever passes for it.  On the other hand, I'm acutely feeling the time-spun wisdom that the years get shorter as we grow older.  Said another way, how did the past year go by so fast and why do the weeks seem to pass quicker every year?

It's a quiet Christmas this year at the ProfessorRoushs', and our Christmas tree is much simpler than in years past. We left off all the ornaments made by the kids and left off the cloth ones handsewn by me with surgical patterns when I was learning to suture back in the days when stegosaurs cut their toes.   Mrs. ProfessorRoush wanted simple white lights and red bulbs this year and who am I to argue?   I know what side my Christmas yeast rolls will be buttered on. Besides, it'll be quicker and easier to take down next week.

It's cold and frozen here, but sunny as all get out.   No gardening in the foreseeable future, but the spring equinox is coming and I'll busy be clearing out beds in a few short weeks, long before the ground thaws.  My sole contribution to the garden is a new mealworm-specific bird feeder I purchased and placed up yesterday.  I've never had mealworms out before but I'm trying to help the bluebirds out as best I can this year.  It didn't take me long to learn that mealworms don't stay put very well when the Kansas winds rock traditional feeders and those gross little dried-up carcasses are pricey.

My friends, I'll leave you after this glance out my back window into a sunny and snow-free Kansas Christmas morning.  Who needs a White Christmas anyway? 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Temporal Disobedience

That's it, ProfessorRoush has had it!  I'm done with the stupid seasonal time change and done with all of the turmoil to which it induces in our biological systems.  Increased automobile accidents, increased heart attacks, increased suicides, it is obvious by the damages they inflict that the idiots we elect to political office have no common sense nor decency and it is time that we, gardeners and farmers, lead a revolt.  There was never a proven worthwhile reason for kicking the clocks back and there are plenty of bad ones.  We should bow to the evidence of unintended consequences and stop this nonsense.  Consider this our Declaration of Temporal Independence and join me!  

I could, in an attempt to wax eloquent, blatently plagerize and slightly modify the lead of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams to stir the blood of others to my movement.  To wit, "When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for ProfessorRoush to dissolve the political bonds which have forced him to disconnect himself from the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle him, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that he should declare the causes which impels him to the separation."   Well, here it comes. 

Like many of you, since the clocks were turned back by fascist decree on November 1st, I've been waking aimlessly an hour before I actually need to prepare for work and struggling uselessly to keep my eyes open after 7:00 p.m.  I leave now, in the dark, and come home in the dark, comforted not in the most minimal fashion that I'm somehow contributing to the salvation of humanity by conserving any energy or resources.  For weeks, the sun has directly scorched my eyes on my morning commute while endangering those on the road near my thundering carriage.  Now, I barely glimpse the dawn as I transit to fluorescent existence.   Weekdays, I haven't seen my garden in the daylight for months. I've tried, oh how hard I've tried, to reset my cellular clock, pinning my eyelids up in a futile attempt to stay awake past 8:00 p.m., and lounging in bed trying to stay asleep in the mornings.  The ticking clock of my existence is too loud, however, too insistent on following the normal patterns of sun and moon and earth to submit to any mere totalitarian decree. 

This illegal and immoral control on our biological clocks is detrimental not just to ourselves. Think of our pets, our fur children!  Poor Bella, now waking at 5:00 a.m., starving for the food that she gets an hour later in the summer, and coming to me each night barely after supper with her "baby", the stuffed lamb she carries to bed, demanding that I call it an evening and join her in bed, her day over because the sun is down.  Who among you can resist the sleepy eyes of the creature pictured at right, staring at you from the next chair with a soulful plea to turn off the TV and turn in just as the 6:00 news has begun?

Let us follow Thoreau's lead and be civilly disobedient; "When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government."  Myself, I'm not waiting any longer for our elected nincompoops to quit quibbling over budgets and battlefields and turn to the important things.  When daylight savings time begins again, on March 14, 2021, I'm staying there, permanently, enjoying the longer evenings and who cares whether it is still dark when I stumble to work?  When November comes again, I am staying on ProfessorRoush Savings Time (PRST), saving my sanity, my heart, and innocent bystanders from the damages wrought by our inept leaders.  I'm going to continue to enjoy the moments of daylight after work and my bosses will just have to get used to seeing me in early and leaving late afternoon during PRST.  Business can either adjust to PRST or do without my monetary contributions to their bottom line, probably better for me and likely unnoticed by them. The evidence that I'm standing with the angels here will be the extension of my life and doubtlessly the gratitude of Ms. Bella, attuned with me to the natural cycle and happy just in our own cocoon.  Who's with Bella and I?  Stop the Madness, Stop the Time Change!

Sunday, December 6, 2020

A Time to Read

Ssshhhh...The garden is silent.  There is no life left here above ground, just cold concrete angels that urge you to respect the dignity of life drawn deep into the frozen earth for winter.  Dry grass, perennials become twigs, stone and stick, all that are left of the season past.  Maidens, demurely dressed, dot the garden and dream to be someday embraced by flowers reborn on all sides.  Patient, they wait for stories to grow, for life to spring forth from their pages, reading the future a season away.

In winter, ProfessorRoush's garden reflects his indoor life, reading now the primary entertainment in both locales.  The angelic girl-child and the grown woman pictured here and engrossed in their books are both full-time inhabitants of my garden, weathering and softening as the years roll by.  Neither will respond when you ask the topic of their study, for both live on a time scale beyond our fleeting lives.  They wait, sparely changing as the seasons past, hot and cold, wet and dry as the sun and weather choose.  

Inside, I join them, reading along in a more comfortable setting and weathering and softening in my own time.  Stack of books wait on the nightstand and bookcase for my winter pleasure, each a quiet escape from the weeks between now and spring.  I'm not sure where I'll start, fiction or nonfiction, fancy or facts, but the time for the feel of warm earth in my hands has past and will be replaced with a good solid book, warm and comfortable indoors while the sharp sunshine of a cold day waits outside my window.

In the garden, birds ring the feeders and rabbits hide from hungry hawks.  A cardinal pair picks at the sunflower seeds, meal-worms wait for the bluebirds, and fat fluffy sparrows dart in for seed, a constant stream of greed.  Besides these, the world waits again in frost for the sun to warm, and the remainder of my garden reads and rests with me.


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