Sunday, February 1, 2009

Miscellaneous thoughts for the week- thoughts that wouldn't otherwise have a home

Thought #1: It's great to have a garden year 'round in Arizona.

THIS (above) is what it looks like out in the backyard. There are peas right in your face on the left of the pic with the white blossoms, red leaf lettuce in the shadow at the bottom center, moon leaf lettuce further back, then the big blue/green looking broad leafed stuff is red cabbage and then cilantro behind that and then more cabbage and then turnips just out of view.

THIS (below) is what it looks like at my dining room table!

There is some moon leaf lettuce, some red leaf lettuce, some green onions, a turnip and some cilantro. Topped off with half of an avocado and some strawberry slices from the local farmers market and some fresh coarsely ground black pepper.

Thought #2: I had a bride in my home office last Monday that was absolutely a pleasure to meet and I am so looking forward to her wedding in June. We had such a great chat and inside of 5 minutes it felt like I was talking to an old friend. She wept openly about the beautiful things about her relationship and about her fiance and her dreams for her life.

When doing a consultation, I try to make my office a place that- as a salesman- I can have an edge. I can play some music and show some photographs and have some bridal magazines handy that I have written articles in or that I have advertisements in. I'm a pretty good DJ, but I'm not a very good salesman so I use every advantage that I know how to use effectively in the given time. I try to create moments during the consultation where they can feel the emotion of the day--the fact that I created that moment right in my office is usually a great sales point.

There was none of that in this consultation. We just really hit it off and I was honored and flattered that she felt comfortable enough in front of me and in my home to express her emotions about her relationship even though we had just met. She and her fiance are separated by school commitments- he's finishing up at MIT. Songs that had meaning for her relationship really touched feelings that ran close to the surface.

Over the years, during these consultations, I've predicted fairly accurately who will make it in marriage and who will not just by how brides and grooms interact while doing something as simple as talking about the music for their wedding ceremony and the celebration that follows. They get so caught up in the details of the wedding that they make no preparations in their personal lives for the marriage that will follow. I predict that this bride will have a great and happy marriage!

Thought #3: Most people who travel in Arizona through the high desert country along Interstate 40 or those who travel through the low desert along Interstate 10 have no idea of the beauty in those brown ugly looking mountains in the distance. I had a break between homework and DJ business last week to go on a weekday hike in the Superstition mountains. There is so much greenery and water and life out there in the desert- several million people even 20 miles away in the Phoenix area have no idea that it even exists. Saguaro cactus takes 50 to 75 years to grow their first arms. The two that you can see in this picture are probably 150 years old. It's brilliant that a plant that gets a tiny drink of water maybe 6 or 8 times per year and braves 115 degree heat for 3 months with NO water can make a living out of a crack in a rock!

Two of my sisters here in the Phoenix area are hikers and I'm wondering why we don't hike together... oh yeah... it's that whole alternate lifestyle that I lead. I work on the weekends when everybody else hikes. BUT, I usually have the desert and all of its beautiful solitude for myself during the week- when all the other blokes are slaving away at their desks.


Cynthia said...

I'm need some gardening tips from you. We do an early spring garden, but we have never grown things through the winter. And we've never done lettuce.
I'd love to go hiking with you. I'm afraid I'd slow you down too much, but if you wouldn't mind that, I think it would be fun sometime before it gets too hot. I've hiked all the trails around here this winter and I have never been out your way.

Lauri said...

I was thinking about gardening too. I really need a nice spot like you have in your yard. I remember Grandpa Stowell used to plant lettuce and such in between his flowers and it actually looked good.

I too am ready for another desert hike.