Friday, January 25, 2013

photo friday: license—to post as you wish

© Amber Schley Iragui 2012, scraps of material
© Amber Schley Iragui 2012, window in SoHo

© Amber Schley Iragui 2012, Huntington Gardens CA

It has been bitterly cold here. Walking the children to their respective schools I've noticed how quickly the dog pee freezes in little puddles all along the sidewalk, an odd advantage of such weather when you have small children in a dense urban neighborhood teeming with dogs. Our lives have been mostly uneventful lately. We've had some illness (but luckily not the dreaded flu), a handful of tantrums, an unending supply of daily dramas arising from the running of our little school, the introduction of some new words (Lola and Ike built a "sex-slide" yesterday, and today one of Ike's made-up songs starred a "six-E laid-E"). Mostly I've been working, or trying to work, and cooking dinner, or at least attempting to. Charles discovered itunes and has stayed up late downloading classical albums and operas.

In the midst of this—the cold, the paid and unpaid work, the endless effort of raising two children—I found myself daydreaming about composting. A strange thing to daydream about, I concede. I recall as a child watching my father composting in our backyard, the steam rising from the black beds of soon-to-be-soil; he could stay out there for hours with the wheelbarrow and spade, processing his compost from one "station" to another. I remember walking back from high school, nearing home, and knowing absolutely that my Dad was out back, turning the decomposing matter. You could smell it a block away. We burned everything that could be burned in the wood stoves; took the plastic, metal and glass to the dump oursleves; and composted everything else.

And now here I am in Manhattan, daydreaming of taking the leftovers of our meals and making them into soil. With maybe a few chickens pecking around. And what's this, tears welling in my eyes? Oy Vey!


heidiannie said...

Ahh the memories and scents of childhood. I remember your father throwing shovel loads dirt, sand and peat into a machine we called "the shredder" and the huge piles of wonderful rich dirt that would accumulate at the other end. We (the little girls) would fill aluminum packs with soil and Grandma would transplant vegetable rootlings into them. The aroma of soil, the greenhouse scents of fertilizer, steamed soil and green things in late January and February are the elements in my winter musings.
We didn't compost, strangely enough- but my father made up a concoction of green tea from cow manure and other unmentionables that made the plants sit up and take notice.
Happy memories, Amber- thanks.

Lynda B said...

You make me laugh. Interested in composting? Methinks my daughter may be musing about moving from Manhattan?! Or at least finding a plot of dirt to grow something and throw her kitchen scraps? Growing things would certainly seem to be something Ike would love especially if there is a water hose involved!

Julia said...

Two reactions: so glad Charles finally discovered iTunes. And the second is that I am now really nervous about our huge compost pile because I have done nothing to it except turn it feebly a few times. Stations?

If you move from Manhattan please don't move anywhere where I am even less likely to see you.