Every night this week, I had something going on. I rushed home after work to let the dogs out, and turned around again to head out. I didn't make it home for the night once before 9:30, and most nights I then had to go outside and shovel the walk. I didn't have time to walk the dogs until Friday, and I ate PB&J for dinner four times.
Thursday was a particularly crazy day. I ran home to let the dogs out, and shovelled about half the sidewalk, I gobbled my third PB&J of the week, and then tore across town to a meeting for an environmental group I've been following for a few years. I had volunteered to help out with an upcoming conference, and was supposed to meet with the leader about it after the meeting. If I hadn't arranged to meet him there, I probably would have skipped the meeting entirely. I told myself as I drove there that I was only staying until 8:00. I told the group facilitator when I arrived that I had to leave early, and arranged to meet him later this week instead of talking to him after the meeting. When one of the speakers introduced himself to me, I told him that I'm familiar with his work, that I was looking forward to his talk; but unfortunately I'd have to duck out early. I had to leave by 8:00.
This presenter is the author of a blog that I followed all summer. I don't know if you saw it on my blog roll or checked it out; but I was fascinated with it from the very first post. It's the Steal Pony Tour, and was written by a guy named Mike who rode his bike 1100km (685 miles) around Alberta to tour organic farms. At the end of his tour, a friend of his family contacted him and offered him the use of some land not far from town here. He'll be starting his own Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm this year.
Mike started his talk at 7:30. I didn't even consider getting out of my seat until 9:30 when he finished. It was a laid back talk about where he'd been, and what he'd seen. It wasn't preachy or confrontational... he just talked about what he saw and why he thought it was important. The truth is, I was a little choked up by the time he finished. Not because of the environmental ramifications of what he's doing; but because he's just a regular guy doing what's important to him and succeeding very well so far. In the meantime, he's making a huge difference and bringing a tonne of attention to an issue that needs as much help as it can get.
Today I was at my parents' house. After languishing on the market for months with only a handful of viewings, my parents' house has finally sold. They have less than a week to vacate. Today my job was to take everything that they don't want and to bring it to my house. I'll keep what I want and store the rest until the spring, and then have a big garage sale.
I mentioned having heard Mike speak and how much I enjoyed it to my mom as we worked. She remembered reading about him in the paper a while back, and had the excellent idea to give him the garden tools that they don't need anymore. Many of those tools come from my great grandfather, who had a farm in Ontario. Some of them are tools that he made himself. They're perfectly good, but they look fairly rustic. Chances of selling them at a garage sale are probably fairly slim. I could keep them for sentimental value; but frankly, I just don't have the space.
This afternoon, I sent Mike an email to see if he'd be interested, and heard back right away. He's going to take the lot of them. The tools are going back to a farm, and I couldn't be happier. I think my great granddad would be proud.
A Shout in the Night
5 hours ago