Friday, November 30, 2007

A nice to have rainy day

Last Monday we had a rainy day.

Many of the places that I have lived that would not be a big deal.

When we lived in Nova Scotia, rainy days were pretty common. In fact I can remember a rainy month or two. There were even times when I was in Atlantic Canada that maybe we should invest in an ark.

If you work hard outside, a rainy or even snowy day can be a welcome change in your routine especially if you have been living in the Southeast this year, where rain has been very scarce.

Here along the Southern Outer Banks we have been lucky this summer with enough rain to prevent any problems. Fifteen to twenty miles inland, people have not been that lucky.

Still we haven't had any days that I remember since spring when it rained for a whole day.

I took advantage of the recent wet weather and cleaned out a lot of papers. I will not proclaim that cleaning out papers is a lot of fun, but I will admit that it is something you have to do.

Otherwise you can be overwhelmed with paper. The idea that a paperless office is just around the corner seems to have receded somewhat.

It appears to have died under the weight of paper.  Some of my past when I was a real estate agent  seems to be all paper. From faxes to contracts, I appear to have been swimming in paper.

For a while I tried to get away with using my Macintosh for real estate. My twenty years at Apple left me pretty comfortable with a Mac but unfortunately no company makes a forms generation package for NC real estate so I ended up buying a Windows machine. You have be able to generate all that real estate paper at a moment's notice.

If you think paper has disappeared from the business world, just try buying a house. It will be good for the economy and will convince anyone that we have a long way to go before we can dispense with paper.

In addition to giving me a chance to clean out my papers, the rain has helped to keep my tomato plants going. I did not have any idea that these three plants would last so long and produce so many tomatoes. We will be eating tomatoes from our three plants well into January.

Unless tonight turns out to be very cold, I fully expect to pick my first December tomato tomorrow. Once I have done that I am going to pull up the tomato plants, and watch all the green ones turn red in January.  I doubt there will be much more tomato ripening weather anytime soon so I can get the vines out of here before it becomes cold outside.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

New beginnings at Thanksgiving

I am not surprised at how often we hear about life changing decisions at Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is one of the few times of the year that modern families manage to get together.

With distance often playing a factor, people sometimes use turkey day as an opportunity to bounce ideas off their families.

A good Thanksgiving holiday can be an easy informal atmosphere where people can view new ideas in the positive light of a good holiday meal and some great friendship.

Whether the decision is a new job or moving to a new area, Thanksgiving is not a bad time.

When I first was hired by Apple in Canada, it was just after American Thanksgiving. We had to find a new home in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We actually moved on Christmas day in a blizzard.

It was not an ideal time, but there is no great time to move. We managed to survive by clinging to our holiday traditions and by taking advantage of the holiday friendliness of our new neighbors.

Last year at Thanksgiving, we were having our first holiday on the coast. This year we might having one of our last ones in the mountains, but at this point, we do not know.

We'll go forward one step at a time and keep to our traditions no mater where we live.

I would rather be trying another path during the light of the fall than the darkness of January.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Still time for fishing

Surprisingly the real estate business has been pretty business the last few weeks. Still a fellow has to have his priorities straight.

I have managed to sneak in a little fishing. Tomorrow, I am hoping that it is warm enough to spend a little time focused on it.

That could perhaps be a challenge since according to the weathermen the eastern part of North Carolina is one of the colder places in the country tonight. The cold weather is here a week or so earlier than last year.

The forecast for cold weather got me to build a little tent out of blankets for our tomato plants. I am amazed but we are still getting tomatoes in quantity off of our vines.

The exciting thing is that they are delicious. I figure this is a huge victory for home grown produce. If I can get through the month of November, that will mean that we have enjoyed homegrown tomatoes for five months.

We might see enough of the green ones to get us to January. We got local hot house tomatoes for an additional two and one half months.

Having great tomatoes over seven or maybe even eight months out of the year, means that meal planning is simplified. We can always make something around a tomato.

It is strange to be thinking about tomatoes when Turkey Day is just around the corner.

We lived in Canada for over sixteen years, and the one thing we missed the most was Thanksgiving Day.

While Canadian Thanksgiving is in October, it pales in comparison to American Thanksgiving.

That special Thursday in November starts my favorite time of year. It is a time when we all get together. It is above all a time for family and for renewing connections.

This year will be special for us since our son will be able to come. Last year when I wrote about Thanksgiving in Truly time for turkey, I was saddened by his absence.

With any kind of luck, I'll catch some fish to eat before we have to get serious about turkey next week.

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