Friday, July 27, 2007

A Time for Every Purpose

Thursday's already gone!?!

Life's little ironies--OF COURSE I would realize that my whole house is infested with fleas the week before guests from Canada are stopping by overnight (a good friend is someone who plans to drop by for a quick visit on her way from Calgary, Alberta to Halifax, Nova Scotia...and you live in Kansas, USA...or is that a friend with a weird sense of geography? Actually, I understand their logic as part of a subtle cultural difference I discovered among the Canadians I met: a more expansive sense of distance than ours, doubtless a reflection of the sparseness of their population and the vastness of their wilderness. )

And OF COURSE my new housemate is preparing to move in the same weekend that guests are here.

And OF COURSE the impending guests/housemate are my motivation to FINALLY finish patching sheetrock, priming, painting, and moving into the master bedroom (I've been "camping out" in the middle room since December, after "camping out" in the kitchen for the first month back in the house after my 2 year absence.) But it's all taking longer than expected.

And OF COURSE I thought I would have time for all this without taking time off from work.

The house probably could not be more torn up if I tried...every throw rug and blanket is hanging on the clothes line after hopefully being de-fleaed in the washing machine, and the floors are all generously dusted with boric acid to try to eliminate the fleas. I have 36 hours to pull it all together...including vacuuming every square inch and...oh, yeah, I don't yet own enough towels to host company, and we'll have to invent a bed for my friend's daughter.

Plus I need to reassemble the bathroom sink drain, and my Friday farm apprentice will be here at 6 a.m. so we can work on a fence together.

I used to panic and become hysterical at times like this. Now--in part through the long, gradual wearing of the farm's slow, patient energy into my way of being, and in part through concerted practice of the Alanon program--I am serene. Worry won't get anything accomplished, anyway. I'll "do my best and leave the rest; 'twill all come right some day or night."

My guests are coming to see me, Toss, the farm...not to criticize my slow progress at home improvement. I slept on the couch at their home when I was travelling in Canada; we spent the afternoon shopping for a few items I needed and running their mundane errands; we walked over to the nearby Safeway to buy ingredients for a simple supper because we would all be leaving for further travels the following morning.

We initially met in even more spartan circumstances two years ago, at Canadian Yearly Meeting in Camrose, Alberta in early August. It started raining--a cold, drizzling rain--the moment I set up my tiny tent (yes, thankfully with ground cloth and tarp canopy), and didn't stop the whole week. Day 2, hypothermia set in since I'd never imagined August could be that cold, and had packed insufficient clothing. The three of us were part of a chilly contingent that slogged to the tiny thrift store the moment it opened, in search of warmer clothing.

So nothing fancy is required here, only my attention to their basic needs, and to enjoying my time with them. "To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven": I'll be "Martha" until I pick them up at the Greyhound station, and I'll be "Mary" until they leave. We'll go to the Merc, the Farmer's Market, and my garden for food with a local flair, and maybe stop by St. John's Rummage House to grab a couple towels and washclothes.

All this is to say that chances of a new blog entry before Sunday or Monday are nil. So have a great weekend!

No comments: