Wednesday, May 14, 2008

There's a miracle in my backyard...

And it's not my garden, although I always think it's a miracle that a full plant can grow from a tiny speck of a seed.

No, this miracle is the matriarchal clan that live behind, catty corner, and next door to me. Apparently, the eldest surviving member, a woman of 101 whom I've not met, bought the property with her husband a long time ago. They owned quite a bit of land, which I'm assuming they farmed to a certain extent, before selling it off in parcels. Now they still have (at least) three properties which border me on three sides. Behind me is one of the daughters, probably in her 60s or 70s, who lives there with her husband (he calls himself the oldest "besides Mama," is rarely seen without his Veterans ball-cap, and is the lone male of the pack). The 101-year-old lives with them in an old yellow house. It definitely has the city-crept-up-around-the-country-house look to it. Another daughter lives catty corner (I haven't met her) and another to my side. She's probably in her 60s and I so envy her greenhouse. Her daughter comes to visit almost every day. All of their yards connect via opening fences. It's such an interesting living arrangement. They have a village!

And man, do these women work hard. They are out in their yards everyday for hours. And they all help each other, with each spending hours digging, weeding, transplanting, etc. in each other's yards. Despite their age they are enormously productive and have put together a huge veggie and rose garden and what looks to be shaping up as a new veggie patch. I'm not kidding, they will be out there in straw garden hats for 6 hours a day. I only get to do this on the occasional weekend, but they're out there almost every day!

Then they have tea or drinks or dinner on the patio of my side neighbor's house. She has an elaborate backyard entertainment area set up with a pond, a paved eating area with requisite umbrella, and a stereo system with the speakers coming out of decorative frog mouths. They play Patsy Cline and instrumental music. It's really quite idyllic.

I like this idea of close family living. You just don't see it very often anymore, at least in this country. And I absolutely LOVE that it's women dominated. They are so interdependent and efficient - it's truly impressive.

We'll all need our tribes if peak oil shakes out poorly. I haven't written about that, yet, but it's on my mind quite a bit. With $126 for a barrel who knows? And Goldman Sachs predicts $150-$200 by the end of the year (what is that, maybe $5.75 for a gallon of gas?). Better get those gardens a-growing. Better get those bikes in shape. Better buy smaller cars. Pronto.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When are we forming our uber-urban-commune? The house across the street from me is for sale :).