I feel almost like I'm in a time-warp or something each time I return from my "home" and my work in Africa. I leave Africa, usually relaxed and have adapted to the slow leisurely pace, then I return to America where everyone and everything is always in such an incredible hurry! In order to survive in both places, I just have to adapt!
I recently turned 68, and, in spite of my nine artificial joints (thanks, osteoarthritis), I'm in the best health I've ever been. My cholesterol and blood pressure are both low for the first time ever, and, I weigh less than I did 40 years ago - and am NOT dieting! I've just pretty much learned to always eat the way I do in Africa: if you don't grow it and pick it, you don't eat it!
I, like most people, tend to have a list of odd jobs running around in my brain. Nothing big, or expensive, or time-consuming; just things I haven't taken the time to complete. As I ran out my front door early the other morning to go to the gym, I pulled the LOCKED front door closed as I checked my pocket to be sure I had my keys. I felt a weight and knew I was ok, until the lock clicked on the door. I suddenly realized that my pocket contained my lock for the gym, and NOT my keys. Yes, one of my projects had been to hide a housekey somewhere outside my house, and of course, I hadn't gotten to it yet. Yes, friends have a spare key, but I couldn't call them on my cell phone because I seldom use it, and it was safe inside on my dinner table! Oh well, I found a trusty brick, and calmly broke a window out of my front door so I could get into my own house, promptly hid a spare key outside, and went to the gym.
Gratefully, I'm good at home repair, so I stopped off for a piece of glass on the way home from the gym, and have now fully repaired the window and replaced the trim, and I didn't even have to re-paint! If I had just taken the time before...
For several growing seasons, I've driven my favorite backcountry shortcut and noticed a small handwritten sign listing three or four fresh vegetables available at a farm. Many times, I thought "I really ought to check that out," but hadn't gotten around to it yet. The day after the lock, I promised myself I'd take the time to stop. It was a short three mile drive and I went to a small farmhouse with an even smaller building (shop) in back, surrounded by a variety of old rusty farm instruments. I stepped into the most glorious vegetable goldmine I've ever seen! The couple that owns the land and does all of the work, happen to be Native Americans who live "the old way" - and no, they aren't old, they just live traditionally.
They don't have a checking account or credit cards - they pay cash for everything (isn't that "immoral?") - but they also have NO debt. They don't buy groceries as they grow everything they eat and fish for extra protein. They use a wide variety of their own herbs for natural healing - and are more than willing to take the time to teach me what they know! I had stopped by the farm on my way to deliver two casseroles to a customer, but gave my new friends one of them and took a huge variety of fresh veggies to my client instead.
I stopped at the farm for five minutes and left almost three hours later with my truck full of sugar snap peas, new potatoes, kohlrabi, beets, green beans, carrots, yellow crookneck squash, zucchini, cucumbers and some young onions. The prices are very reasonable, the produce is gloriously fresh and my new friends also believe in giving away much of their produce. They also have their own honey, and jams and jellies. Tomorrow, they will start picking their sweet corn as well as some early tomatoes. I left with a promise to be a frequent customer, and more importantly a new friend who will be getting taught more about herbal healing.
At my next stop, a friend ran to meet me with the admonishment, "Where have you been - you were supposed to be here a long time ago!" I tried to explain, but finally just handed her my keys and told her to look in the back of my truck!
My customer was thrilled with the produce surprise. I'm thrilled with the experience. My change in "diet" has made an obvious impact on my health AND my OA.
There's a reason I went to the farm - it's not really just about fresh vegetables. I don't believe in coincidences. I know I was supposed to be there.
It really does pay to TAKE THE TIME -
Published On: July 12, 2011