The other day, in a conversation about our new travel trailer which we'll pick up tomorrow, my sister said, "You'll have it the rest of your life, so make sure it's what you want."
I agreed with her comment and also thought once more about how I've reached that stage of life where many times I think, "This is the last time I'll . . . ."
Daunting thought, to say the least.
Happily, that particular musing usually does not last long because, after all, the reality of shortness of my life expectancy aka "final quarter" at this point drives me onward.
Get on with the living, I say to myself. You haven't got time to wallow in thoughts of facing the last major event of life: the end.
So, I usually think about it ever so briefly and move on, often preferring and reveling in the "firsts" of life.
Yesterday, for example, made me downright giddy AND TIRED as I dug through and pawed through my manure pile dirt searching for my first-ever homegrown sweet potatoes.
In fact, I've got one raw finger tip from so much digging, even with gloves.
Later, I thought, "Why didn't I get Liam to help me with this project?"
But then, Liam is too young to appreciate the firsts of his life. Most of what he does is a first for him. So, firsts are no big deal.
For an old goat like me, though, any "firsts" are notable. When we think of all the daily redundancy in our lives, any adventure into an unknown or anything unexperienced is pretty exciting.
So, rather than asking Liam to help with his busy paws, I stuck with my own digging and enjoyed my own adrenalin rushes every time those fingers grabbed on to the end of another tater hiding in the dirt.
I also learned something yesterday. Having never dug sweet potatoes but having harvested thousands of regular taters, I had no idea that sweet potatoes tend to be a whole lot more elusive than the usual Idaho brand. Plus, they have the most extensive root system I've ever seen.
Both varieties of my first sweet tater crop kept me guessing and occasionally slicing them in half while using the shovel to loosen dirt. I learned quickly to do my digging as much as two feet away from the plant.
All the while, I kept summoning Bill, who was working on the new barn stall, to come and look at my growing pile.
Now, when you look at the photo of my first-ever sweet potatoes, it's important to remember that the starts came late this year to Moose Valley.
Seems there was a problem with flooding in some areas down South, and the suppliers were helping out their locals first.
So, these went in the ground later than they usually do, and they're not huge, by any means.
Having sampled a few, robbed from the roots earlier this fall, I can say that I'll be proud to cook these up, dress them up with margarine, brown sugar and marshmallows and serve them for Thanksgiving. They're mighty tasty.
And, so yesterday marked another of many firsts for me this year, most notably the hot air balloon ride in Arizona and the laser surgery on my eye in April.
Somehow, though, this particular "first" involved a lot less fear but definitely more patience and definitely some tater-digging education.
Happily, I don't have to use the word "last" in looking forward to many manure-pile sweet potato crops in the years ahead-----along with next spring's start-up of my first peach tree ever.
Yes, Vicki, I ordered the brand you suggested. You can "rely" on that.
Sweet-potato harvest day was not the only sweet thing around here yesterday. I did not have to leave home to put my camera to work.
Twas an absolutely gorgeous and productive and fun fall day. I hope it's not the "last."
Enjoy the photos.