On Mixing Roux and Words
NO TIME TO GO
Written by ELLEN BRADFORD. Last updated Saturday March 20th, 2010
By ELLEN BRADFORD
Some more time to think. Recently I was treated for an ailment nobody (no medical personnel) has been able to identify. They cleared up the emergency and suggested I try not to do that again -- whatever I had done to get myself into the hospital. I agreed that was a good plan.
This was an eye-opening experience. Especially the time in ICU -- two or three days, depending on whom you ask.
The one ‘train’ that followed me home was the question of whether, like the wise old Indian, I found that a good day to die. No fear. Just curiosity, I think. Like, how much would my dying impact the people around me? And not for long, I hoped. I hoped everyone I know would feel I had a happy, maybe even productive 77 years, and let it go at that. Then I wondered if I was ready to jump off the planet.
Had I done what I came here to do? For the most part, yes. I’ve looked into faces of a fourth generation and seen some smart, good looking, curious great-grandchildren coming along. They will be living in such a different world than I ever dreamed of. I find it hard to imagine what kind of 25, or 35, or 80-year-olds they will be. Happy, I hope.
What had I not done that I wish I had done? That was harder. I haven’t spent as much time with my Acadiana relatives as I wanted to. My parents and brother are gone now. I have few cousins left and I don’t know their children, grandchildren, greats. I wish I had tried harder to remain a part of that culture. I miss it now.
This question produced a much longer list than the first. But I suddenly came upon the one thing I could do something about. I could restore my vegetable garden that I had given up to the deer and rabbits several years ago. I missed that garden something awful! I thought of the possibilities. It would cost money. My savings, split among my children would not bring them the satisfaction my garden always produced for me. They all agreed that a garden was the emotional incentive I needed to stay healthy. So the savings got plundered for a six-foot chain link fence with a very nice gate.
Lots of books and lots of time on the computer Googling food-growing advice sites and ordering seed catalogs have kept me so busy, I would never have time to spend in a hospital any time soon. ICU? Forget it!
My peas are climbing on their little strings, the leaf lettuce will be pick-able in about ten days, and if the sun comes out this afternoon the cucumbers will go into the ground. There really is much too much to do there for me to consider dying yet.
(While seeing to it that her four school-age children had the things they needed and the business of running a busy household ran without bumps, Ellen Bradford once wrote between breakfasts and suppers as a correspondent for the Tampa Tribune about goings-on in Florida’s capital, Tallahassee. She is now focused on the wonder of six great-grandchildren and of a new garden - while keeping the deer and rabbits from devouring its products before she and her husband.)