——Original Message—— From: Me To: Me ReplyTo: Me
Subject: Edna Starr Sent: May 1, 2010 7:00 AM
Mrs. Starr was raised as Edna Hopple, of the Jackson Co. Hopples. She had three brothers, the youngest of whom was her twin, Erwin. It was her time spent in the womb of their mother Mary Pepper Hopple, wedged in the dark with a separate him, that twisted her spine and caused her right leg to grow weak and quite useless. She had no sisters. Her two older brothers were twins, as well.
—–Original Message—— From: Me To: Me ReplyTo: Me Subject: Re: Edna Starr Sent: May 1, 2010 8:55 AM
The first set of fraternal twins was greeted with celebration, four hands – especially boy hands – were good to have on a farm.
It was 10 months later that the Mr. Sam Hopple mounted his wife and began the process of union and division that would result in big, strong Erwin and the small twisted Edna. Mrs. Hopple would allow no more. Ever. She was certain that Edna was a punishment of some sort.
For her exhaustion and her failure, here was her coveted daughter.
Re: Edna Starr
show details 8:49 AM (1 hour ago)
The degree to which boy hands are valued measures also the worth of a weak female leg. If she’d been a goat, they’d have killed her right off, or let her die.
The men would’ve, anyway.
Mrs. Hopple, mother, became fiercely protective of her burden. The leg bundled against it’s stronger partner in blanket after crocheted blanket.
Mr. Hopple noted his wife’s new tendency to spend an awful lot of time sitting in the parlor with that twisted baby at her breast and an endless – where does she get it all?! – supply of yarn. He really had to do something about this. When the Mrs. Hopple was in the sleeping room, tending to the babies – all those babies! Why he could scarcely remember their names!
He gathered the growing pile of small blankets and the balls of yarn. He couldn’t get the crochet hook, it was in Mrs. Hopple’s hair, stabbed through the thick coil that held her head high with it’s weight.
Taking the load out to the barn turned out to be no small task. As soon as he stepped out to the porch he was hit by the smell of the blankets, cool and sweetly fetid, old milk and powder briefly scalded by first sun. The hens gathered round him, clucking and wahhhing.
Had she even fed the hens?
A skein of light blue yarn slid off of his left forearm and dragged behind him in the dirt the chickens leaping and squawking and pecking madly at the wobbling blue. A small cloud of dust rose as the two dogs tore around the corner of the barn and descended upon the now-alarmed hens and the strange sky-colored tangle.
Mr. Hopple stood still for a moment and observed the idiot hens and the way the dust clung quick to the yarn. How quickly some things become ruined! When the dogs began to tear at the coils of yarn, spreading the blue in long strands caught in teeth, well, Mr. Hopple dropped the whole load, blankets, yarn and mother-scent.
He brushed off his arms and continued to the barn where he intended to… He wasn’t quite sure, he realized, what exactly he had intended to do.
Current: Dug more dirt, planted seeds, first in rows, then in loose groups, finally wherever they fell. That is the best thing about flowers, they look fine without a row. Vegetables don’t necessarily need rows, but they do need space for good hygiene.
One of the biggest challenges in a small garden is simply finding enough room to do all that you want to do. I have whittled the grass of the former front lawn down to a scrappy sweep between beds. This property has been under my cultivation for almost six years. There is space vegetable garden – seeds still sleeping! – where there once was just kudzu, trees where no trees grew before. Some volunteers (maples, a redbud, sumac, locust) some purchased (a Cunninghamia – china fir, Corylus avellana – contorta, Hamemelis – witchhazel, Salix – curly willow, cherries – montmorency, oak – some common kind (funny I know the Latin for some rare conifers, but good old oak? I forget.) Metasequoia and a Bald Cypress that is weeping…so many plants!
I actually haven’t done too much gardening this year. A lot of clearing, not a lot of planting. Thank goodness for violets come and gone wild, their leaves fill up the vacuum nicely. I need to replant any peas planted earlier – as my old reliable spots for peas have grown too shady under the hedge that arches into small trees. On the upside, the African daisies have re-seeded themselves nicely.
My busted-hose automatic watering system is up and running: slowly and with inadequate pressure. However, we are all hopeful for its eventual awesomeness. In the meantime, the small fountains provide a good place to wash hands, sip water that is cool and hose-y. I just haven’t gotten the flow right.
The chickens are far more in the yard today than they were yesterday. They were, I am certain, on the edge of feral.
Actually, they were on the edge of the road. Ahem, yes. Must put a stop to that. My fence is stacked with branches pruned from my father’s apple trees. The hens are eager to escape, though they have a rather luxurious existence.
Chickens take it all for granted.