Book talks resumed this past week with three presentations. The first was for a lovely group of “Town and Country” ladies in Weyburn. I spoke about my book "Advice Between Kingdoms – How the Hays Moved Trash Mountain," and about our emerging rural recycling project.
From the beginning, I felt the love. When I asked how many of them recycled, all hands in the room went up and after the slideshow they gave me a tour of their own recycling depot located in the condo. Pretty impressive when you consider these ladies were in the 70 to 90-ish range.
They understand a civilization simply cannot continue to produce the garbage we do and remain healthy. It’s got to end, all this waste and throw away, they told me. It just can’t last. We were kindred spirits and it just got better when after our hour-long talk they invited me to join them for lunch.
I’ve known warm audiences but these ladies didn’t just take the cake; they served it: angel food with a lemon-pineapple pudding and ice-cream, preceded by sandwiches, pickles and more great conversation. Every one of them was beaming this positive energy, supporting one another and living it up.
We discussed our appreciations for farm life. Since I’m still in food processing season, I asked them their favorite preserved food. Fried canned chicken, carrot pudding, peaches. They shared secrets from the past I hope to repeat. Their childhood food memories sounded nothing like subsistence.
Each year I add new kinds of preserves and abandon more store bought staples. Believe it or not, there’s joy in that. Someone brings you a box of apples; they’re not just giving work. Dad shoots a moose and invites you to help cut it up: he’s not just spending your time. You’re not just getting some of the best steaks of your life. You’re getting a full day of interesting conversation.
You’re learning new skills and planning to make sausage solo for the first time in your life. Once again, you have the ability to avoid the food industry and control food safety from the start.
Today I prepped the sun porch for chicken plucking. Friends are coming to help and share. Good times, great conversation. Shopping at the store was never so much fun.
Gone forever are my two-hour drives for groceries and cleaning supplies. This sustainable “work” feeds my soul.