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IS IT SPRING YET?

Cindy Maddera

A couple of weeks ago, my Baker Creek seed catalog showed up in the mail box. As Michael reached to pull the mail out of the mailbox, he looked at me and said "You know, you really shouldn't get your porn in the mail." I squealed, hugged the catalog tight to my chest, shut myself in my room and plopped down on my bed to flip through it. The scene was very much like a tween flipping through her latest Bop magazine, laying on my belly, propped up on my elbows, feet kicking in the air. It didn't last long, because the Cabbage came in and started talking (had she ever stopped talking? I can't remember) and I had to set the catalog aside for some special quiet time. Since then I have made brief flip throughs, but I have plans to circle items and dog-ear some pages before we head to Oklahoma for Christmas. I'll take the catalog with me so Mom, Janell and Katrina can also circle the items they want and we'll just put in one giant seed order. Then we trade seeds. It's great fun. I'm considering Amaranth for next year. 

There was so much talk of buying a new house and moving that I didn't really give a flip about the garden. I took what remaining seeds I had and tossed them out into the not so well turned beds. I ate a lot of lettuce. We all did. Then there were collard greens. Lots and lots of collard greens. I have yet to figure out that balance of growing the right amounts of things that we actually eat. That's OK because we're adding two more boxes to the garden. You heard me! We're giving a flip about the garden next year. And then some. Michael says he's building us a chicken coop over his Spring break. My job has been to decide what kind of coop I want so he can start planning. There's a lot of planning going on right at this moment. Baker Creek has a Spring Planting Festival in May that we're planning on going to. I've been planning what breeds of chickens to get. Now I'm planning what seeds to buy. 

While Spring and Fall may be planting seasons, winter is the season for planning. It makes sense that the season of hibernation is also the season for dreaming. This is the time of year we all sit down and reflect for the things we want in the new year. I feel like my wants for 2015 are huge. I want a lot. Not a lot of things. Actually I want less things. I want a lot to happen, a lot of expectations for myself. When I start thinking about it now, it all starts to roll away from me like a snowball rolling down the hill, the further down the hill, the bigger and faster the snowball. One want leads into another want. I want 2015 to be full. At the end of next year I want to be exhausted. Not from grief. Not from being worn down from set back after set back. I want to be exhausted from spending a year doing and being. I want to be so worn out from pairing down all of my things. I want my arms to be heavy from too much kayaking. I want a full belly from just things we've grown in the garden and at the end of the day I want to nap with the chickens and maybe a new dog. I want to feel that weighted exhaustion you get after lifting heavy weights except mine will come from doing all of the things. By this time next year I don't want my couch to even recognize my ass. 

I will bide my time for now just planning. I'll take what is left of 2014 to be a list maker, to organize those wants. I don't even care about needs. My whole life I've been conscious of wants versus needs. I'm making 2015 the year of not necessarily want, but of getting what I want. And eating my cake too.