THE MUSE

O.K. readers, I owe you an apology. I didn’t write a post with anything insightful or ruminating for today because I’ve spent the last few days running around the countryside and doing garden chores. This is the time of year in the southeast where you seed, feed and weed in anticipation of spring. Also, in anticipation of spring are events like motorcycle shows. So, the last few days have been just a lot of fun and, no matter how hard I try or maybe because I’m trying too hard, I, frankly, haven’t been able to focus my inner muse on writing.

For starters, we went to Charlotte for the Annual Motorcycle Show held at their convention center. That was pretty much for Martin to have the chance to touch, feel, sit on all the latest bikes. Besides watching all the people, I enjoy seeing the custom bikes where someone’s creativity is let loose, especially on the paint jobs. Very artistic. I also enjoy stopping by the travel and tourism booths to pick up maps and info on possible destinations for our spring and summer biking adventures. Haven’t been to Deal’s Gap in a while. Nor have we ever ridden the Dragon’s Claw. Although the weather was rainy and somewhat cold, we also decided to take in a tour of Historic Rosedale Plantation. One of the south’s old plantations not far from downtown Charlotte, I just couldn’t be that close and not stop in for a look at local history. Despite the weather, I braved a quick round through the gardens while Martin waited for me on the back porch. The garden, which features some of the original plants and trees from 1815, was alive with daffodils, camelias and redbuds promising warmer days ahead. Limited to just a few acres today, Rosedale originally was over 900 acres. The 4600 square foot house still stands but the outbuildings, including the slaves’ cabins, are gone. And, this weekend, instead of the usual tour led by a docent, there was an Unheard Voices Tour led by a woman re-enacting the life of slave Agness (no, I didn’t misspell her name) Caldwell. Though much of her story is sad with memories of the sale of her 8-year old son and the death of her first husband, all the visitors got a chuckle out of her story about high cotton.

Then, we returned home to our little plot of earth in time to enjoy a sunny 65 degree day. As I stood in the garden workroom seeding my vegetables for spring planting, I thought about the recent news of yet another spinach recall due to possible E. coli contamination. South Carolina is one of 39 states effected by the recall. I grow our spinach, which isn’t to say a contamination couldn’t occur in my vegetable patch. But, from what I’ve read in the last few years and seen on the news, most of the disease occurs from food sitting in storehouses for lengthy periods of time as well as unclean harvest holding areas. For this reason, I’ve started growing more and more of our vegetables and even some fruits. After seeding a variety of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, I turned my attention to the garden itself. Raking up piles of pine needles throughout our woods, Martin pulled out the tractor for me (no, I can’t back the tractor out without hitting the garage with the bucket loader…sad but true). Filling the bucket again and again, I dumped pine needles around the blueberry bushes (yes, I can drive the tractor and manage the bucket loader without hitting anything). After cleaning up my raised beds, taking the last, spent collard and Asian greens to the compost bin, I called it a day.

I spent this morning trying to kick-start my inner muse by looking at all my ideas for posts. I even began writing a couple of different stories. But, she is determined to continue sleeping today. Hopefully, I can get her butt in gear for Thursday! Until then…

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