The Harvest and The Fallen Towers

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September 11, 2022- The glasses came, in dribs and drabs. My co-volunteer and I cleaned them, in drips and drops, and they were returned to the souvenir table. It was a smaller, more intimate Farm-to-Table Dinner this evening, with the emphasis on up-and-coming chefs, partnering with local farmers more directly. This marks the seventh time I have helped with the event, and the smaller affair was welcome, in that sense, as Hope Fest, which happened yesterday, and judged a success by the director and her management team, still takes a lot of energy. I am grateful to still have enough stamina to help in these efforts.

Farm-to-Table is planned, every year, to coincide with the autumn harvest and its attendant full moon. The team, mostly from Prescott Farmer’s Market, paired with professional servers from the Hilton Hotel’s banquet staff. This added grace to the affair, though in previous years we have had servers from local restaurants, who are certainly competent.

Earlier in the day, the focus was on the twenty-first anniversary of the attacks on American soil. There is a renewed focus on the role that some citizens and government officials of Saudi Arabia may have played in the horrific series of events. The complicated geopolitics that tend to limit a proper investigation may well need to be reviewed and their processes changed. As is being said, regarding another pressing legal matter, no one is above the law. The miasma has not been forgotten in the least, however, and those who claim it was a hoax are only finding themselves held in nearly as much disdain as are the perpetrators.

Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

Not A Hard Dog Day

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July 23, 2022- Beauty thought she would like to go out and smell the rain. So, I put on her harness and attached her leash, then got on my shoes and cap. We walked a short distance, up to a patio near where some kids live and she stood still, waiting for someone to come out. A nice lady came out and greeted the little dog. A boy came out, but not to greet Beauty. He had a household chore to do. We headed back towards the apartment where I am minding her. Then, the skies opened up. She got wet, and tried to shake it off, as is customary for dogs, but her curly hair just held the water. I dried her off with a towel and put a comfort shirt over her upper torso, which calmed her down. She was done smelling the rain.

Beauty is a friend’s dog, and has been acquainted with me for several months now. So, when friend wanted to go on a brief visit out of town, I was asked to stay with her for a day or so. This did not really conflict with anything, so I was glad to oblige. All in all, she is an easy animal to “pet-sit”. We went on three walks, including the wet one. She ate voraciously, then went back to gazing out the window. She fell asleep awhile ago, so here I am, contemplating what dogs dream. I sense that the process includes which of their people are kind to them and which ones are better off out of their lives. There are, no doubt, smells that get remembered, just as humans recall sights and sounds. There may even be a hope or two, who knows?

I was asked, this morning, whether I would be sticking around here for a while. Yes, in fact, I am, barring any family emergencies. There is work to be done, for most of August until Thanksgiving, with a few days in Colorado and northern New Mexico at some point in August or September and a trip up to St. Anthony, Idaho (long story), with a possible stop to visit friends en route (have yet to hear back from them), in mid-October, also in the mix. There are other matters, elsewhere in Arizona, to honour as well. Basically, though, the next few months look, right now, to be on a fairly even keel.

Work to be done? I keep hearing that I am supposed to be retired. Well, there are substitute assignments for which I will make myself available; Red Cross activities, here and there; Hope Fest, on September 10 and, most likely, Farm-to-Table Dinner on September 11. Then, there is always work on behalf of my Faith. Those who wish to see me cease and desist are free to stop working themselves, when the time comes-no pressure from this end.

It may be a dog’s life, for Beauty et al, but I’m glad for that which I’ve been given.

Four Courses of Love

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September 12, 2021- A longtime friend, a few years my senior, has taken to posting photos of a newborn child, whom he has nicknamed after himself, her mother and a mutual friend of theirs, in hybrid fashion. He is clearly proud of the infant girl. My hope is that he can be there for her, through her teenage years, when the voice of a good man is as valuable to a young girl as is that of her mother. Without a parent, or parent-figure, of the opposite sex, a teenager is likely to drift emotionally. This takes nothing away from the efforts of those of the same sex as the youth, but it is an essential adjunct to those efforts.

There are several girls and young women whom I love as if they were my own daughters. I had the honour of working with two of them this evening, as Prescott Farmers’ Market put on its annual Farm-to-Table Dinner. I was a server, helped by two food runners and a busser. One of the ladies to whom I referred is the Executive Director of the Farmers’ Market, and can pretty much ask anything of me, in terms of service to the Market. The other is a tireless worker in the field of sustainability, and likewise devotes her energies to the Market’s success.

The dinner was served in four courses: Soup, salad, entree and dessert. Initially, each course was served by the designated team for two tables, with a total of seven crews. Four Chefs and a sous chef carefully and lovingly plated each course, and two complimentary courses for sponsoring VIPs. We on the serving crews brought each course to the patrons, with about twenty minutes between courses.

By the time the desserts were ready to be served, the Dinner was some minutes behind schedule. It was then that the teams combined and served all tables, allowing a half-hour for dessert, coffee, aperitifs and post-meal chitchat. It is never a good idea to jump out of one’s seat in a rush, though a few patrons did (“The dog is alone”; “I need to take my meds”; “It’s past my bedtime”). The high schoolers also had to leave. Those of us who stayed until the end continued the swarming behaviour, giving the dishwashing crew and the breakdown crew a boost, mindful that those teams of two have been stuck, in past years, when the high school age workers have had to leave, due to curfew. That is how I am used to volunteering-being one of the last to leave. No less really seems fair.

So went the second day of a most fruitful weekend. I am taking tomorrow “off”, focusing on training materials for a Blood Drive on Wednesday, but otherwise staying in a state of relaxation.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 61: What I Want In August, Part I

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July 31, 2020-

My parents were wed seventy-one years ago, today. They got to be together, in the flesh, for thirty-seven of those years. They left several good road maps for us, and Mom is still blazing the trail of how to live long and prosper. I was thinking, last night, that I will be honoured to live into my nineties, perhaps even hitting the Century Mark. I would, however, have to be of use, to have most, if not all, of my faculties.

Today, so far, has been quieter than the previous two. I received a message from an African friend, for whom I had written a project proposal, bemoaning that those to whom we had sent copies of the proposal had not responded as yet. It’s been a week, so my take is, check in with them weekly, until mid-August. He asked me to send each of them a montage of photos of the worksite. I can do that,around some other tasks that have arisen, since I turned fostering of the project back over to him. Life does not stand still.

I have thought about what I want to do, in my own sphere, as well. As hard as life is for many people, I cannot just put myself into one hundred percent abnegation, though some will no doubt find that odious of me to say. There actually isn’t all that much that I want for myself, though.


August is said to be a month of masculine energy, so the first thing I want to do is to bring some health supplies to a rendezvous point at Holbrook, close to the Navajo Nation, which is still itself off limits to outsiders, due to COVID. In Holbrook, I will meet the same friend who I met in Flagstaff, in the Spring, to transfer the items. That is Monday’s agenda.

Synergy, the health elixir cafe operated by friends in Sedona, reopens on August 8, so that will be my place of refuge and celebration, next weekend. “Double” days are most often special to me.

I also miss my farmer friends in Paulden, up north just a bit, so maybe the afternoon of the 16th will find me there. The following weekend, Friday- Sunday, will likely be a time to visit Bisbee, a vibrant and eclectic Southern Arizona cousin to Prescott

The month will climax with Farm-to-Table Dinner, on the 29th, and unless the COVID cops declare our most stringent safety precautions inadequate, I will be among the masked and gloved servers and busers, tending to a smaller, but no less fervent, group of patrons of our vibrant Farmers’ Market.

What I want is for life to go on, carefully of course, but not dancing to the tune of one group of tyrants or another.

Back to Harmony

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September 8, 2019-

Yesterday, I let the sour mood pass through. I think it was a reaction to the falling barometer.  We got about 1.3 inches of rain, in this neighbourhood and in points east.  A trip to the laundromat, on the northwest side of town, revealed continued “dry as a bone” conditions. Whilst at Farmers’ Market, I learned, from a vendor, who is a mutual acquaintance, that an erstwhile tormentor had found some peace in her life.  That is comforting, as unhurt people are less likely to hurt people. As the day wore on, and the rain had passed, I felt more in tune.  Spiritual Feast, in the evening, was vibrant and well-attended, another uplift.

Today has seen a nice breakfast at Post 6 come and go.  Now the long and celebratory Farm-to-Table Dinner will occupy my afternoon and evening.  This is one of four large social events of the Autumn-three of them this month and the last, on November 2, which will keep me connected to the community and offer a form of activity, in addition to Planet Fitness and whatever hiking I do, here and elsewhere in the Southwest.  Service projects, other than the above, will also be performed, through the Red Cross.  Home safety, simply put, is our major focus, in areas at risk for wildfire.

The message comes to me that disharmony is, largely, actually a product of not being in sync with the community.  Letting other people’s pain affect my own self-concept is a disservice, to them and to myself.  So, back to a state of balance I go.

Today will make many people happy.