Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

Girl Friends & Gardens

May 16, 2013

I had a moment of financial panic today when the mom at the nanny gig said, “we’ll be back to our regular schedule next week.”

Ie–three days with part-time hours.

And I don’t have other work.

And I need money.

And shut up.

You are fine.

The other gig will be starting soon and you will be ok, you are ok, you have food, you have a roof, you will get paid for this weeks work tomorrow, and you have a gig on Sunday.

All is good.

And when the brain says, “no, bitch, it ain’t,” you know where to go.

I was also to meet a friend tonight at 7 pm in Rockridge, an old friend, some one I have not seen in years, as she lives in Oakland I was living in San Francisco and I know from experience that whatever it is about getting from one place to the other, you stay put on your side of the bridge for the most part.

“How long have you been living in Oakland,” I asked her over tea tonight at, yes, I have to say it, ‘Gaylords’.

“About eight years,” she replied.

“Jesus,” I thought, and then said, “that’s about how much time I have, then you must have come back and forth a bit to the city.”

“Yeah, I still do,” she said, “I have work over there and I go back two to three times a week.”

Which is what I will be doing once I start in with the other families in San Francisco.  This is good information to have, if she can do it, so can I.

In fact, I would hazard that we are also not the only ones doing this.

Oakland I am getting to know you and the more I find out, the more I like.

“Do you like to dance?” She asked me.

Uh yeah.

In fact, I am going over to the city on Saturday.  A friend invited me to the Heart Deco fundraiser at Mighty.  I was not expecting to go over, I’m meeting a ladybug in the city in the early afternoon, then getting stuff out of storage and taking it back to Graceland.

Last thing I thought I would want to do is go back and do a night of dancing, but when friend with car says she’s going, well, damn, Gina, that’s a completely different thing.

“I love to dance,” I said.

“Have you heard of ‘ecstatic dance’?”

“Yes, in fact,” I paused, thinking back a few years to a night I was out one evening at Burning Man with a girlfriend, who had also re-located to Oakland, when we were dancing by the Pier out on the playa who had mentioned to me the same thing.

“You should do ecstatic dance,” that friend had said as we whirled around the Pier, “there’s this great group in Oakland.”

Cue me zoning out.

I am not going to got to Oakland to go dancing when I live in San Francisco.


Well, now, since I live in Oakland, it does not seem that far-fetched.

And wait!

They don’t serve alcohol and it’s on Wednesday nights and it’s early, like starts at 8pm and is done by 11 pm.  Oh my god, this ‘old lady’ is in love with the idea.  I could actually go out dancing on a school night and be home before midnight.

I have a date to get my ecstatic dance on for next week, tentative, my friend has a work gig early the next day, but if not next week, then the week following.

I am down.

I am also down with getting my yoga on, which will be the next frontier that I explore, and as it turns out my ‘new’ friend is also a yoga teacher.

Well, things just keep getting surprising here.


Pardon me while I tell my brain to shut up.







Uh, hi, yes, Carmen, welcome back to the East Bay, you’ve become a California cliché.

And I don’t really care, it feels so good.

At least I’m not living in an ashram, yet.


I will keep my sense of irony close to my chest.

And I will also add budding amateur gardener to the list.


Because there are garden boxes at Graceland begging to be attended to.

The master of the house said I could and as I was sitting and letting my anxieties over the day and my ‘worries’ about what and how and money and time and, and, and…


Patch of sunlight, quiet, garden.


I only have three days of work next week?

Right on.

I can work on the garden at Graceland.

How expensive are some seeds going to be?

You don’t know how to garden, said my brain.

Well, no, I don’t but I bet you dig a hole and put a seed in it and water it and weed out the funny looking plants and cultivate the ones that look edible and just see what happens.

And I do know how to garden.

We had a huge one back in Windsor Wisconsin where I grew up, and my grandfather had an enormous one behind his house in Lodi.  Now, granted, I did not do a lot of the work, my mom did and my step-father did, but I am and always have been, observant.

I remember a lot.

I remember how to compost and weed and how to plant and I have used a roto-tiller, not that  is even necessary at Graceland, there are boxes already set up.

I just need to invest in a few seedlings, tomatoes and cucumbers, maybe a basil plant, and some strawberries–ever-bearing most likely–I think it’s too late in the season to do others.

Heck, I could put in carrots and probably potatoes too.  Oh, and broccoli, so good.

Even if it’s just the tomatoes, that would be something else.

Oh, I can already taste them warm off the vine with some sea salt.

All those things that I turned up my nose at, girlfriends and yoga and gardening and meditation and going vegan and expressing myself in dance, barefoot to ambient music, hmm, maybe those are all things that would enrich my life and make me happy.

No wonder I have always turned up my nose at them.

I don’t want to be happy.

I want to be miserable.

I want to isolate.

I want to do it all on my own and fuck you very much.

Except, that I do actually want all those things.  I want a yoga practice, and a meditation practice and I want to write daily and eat well and plant things and watch them grow and giggle with a girlfriend as we dance around the room and not have any judgements at all about the woman in the corner who is so feeling the music she strips down to just her skirt and ankle bracelet in front of the speaker to better feel the vibe.

It turns out I do want all those things.

Look at me getting honest with, well, me.

I just had to go to Paris to figure out that everything I wanted was right here all along.

Taking a trip (not taking a trip).

Just don’t ask me to give up the coffee.


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