Horticulturists are by nature, nonconforming. I happen to find it difficult to conform to what makes us nonconforming. Trends are fleeting. Old technology that has worked for decades or centuries is still best. Although I am not totally against chemicals, I find that almost all are unnecessary for responsible home gardening. Pruning is underappreciated, and fixes many problems.
While so many of those with homes to go home to are not out socializing, social distancing should be easier for the rest of us. In many regards it is. Although some who lack homes live within very minimal proximity of others in the same situation, the innate crowding is no worse than it is for families with children living in the same home. Some have dispersed to avoid socializing.
Of course, because of the difficulty of storing food, most of those who lack kitchens must still shop for food more frequently than most. Some manage to store a bit more than typical, in order to avoid shopping. Some are even consuming more of the edible but undesirable vegetation that grows wildly along the roads. It is better for stinging nettle to be harvested from trails anyway.
It is amazing that both Felton Presbyterian Church and Saint John’s Catholic Church continue to serve lunch. Felton Presbyterian Church serves lunch right around noon on Tuesday, starting a bit earlier and continuing a bit later so that a large group does not need to arrive at the same time. Saint John’s Catholic Church serves lunch between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Thursday.
The most important stipulation is that bagged lunches are served to go only. No one can stay to eat. The hours from which lunch is served at Saint John’s Catholic Church are abbreviated for now as well, starting half an hour later, and ending an hour and a half earlier. Of course that can change. Those preparing lunches for us really should be isolating at home, not out socializing.
Even with all that is going on in Felton and the rest of the World, it is amazing that the Community continues to provide for those who need it most.
If it continues with the healthy growth it exhibited after a seemingly slow start last year, the still small Memorial Tree of Felton Covered Bridge Park should be happy now, in its fifth season. It was pruned, groomed and relieved of weeds last Friday. Its first dose of fertilizer will be applied today, before fresh new foliage starts to develop. New binding should remain until autumn.
The last update for the Memorial Tree was on August 10. An update regarding its horticultural concerns posted earlier this morning on my other blog, where this post will be reblogged to. This little tree has certainly been through some difficult times. It is gratifying to see that it is recovering and doing well. As it grows, it becomes more resilient and less susceptible to damage.
The Memorial Tree is actually the fourth tree to be planted on its spot since Felton Covered Bridge Park was developed. That is a long story that I wrote about earlier. Although the original oak was not a memorial tree, all of the surrounding redwood that were installed with the rest of the landscape are memorial trees that were sponsored by family and friends of the deceased.
There was no intention for this little oak to become a Memorial Tree when it was installed to replace the three trees that had preceded it. At the time, we were contemplating a location for a Memorial Tree for Jeff Scofield who had passed away the previous spring. Ultimately, the still new oak became designated as the Scofield Tree. Its species and location are so appropriate!
Shortly afterward, a lifelong friend of Mr. Scofield also passed away. Before we could dedicate another Memorial Tree, another friend passed away! The little oak became the collective Memorial Tree for those who lack Memorials.
That is an order! . . . but not just any order. It is an official California State Order. Most of us have been doing rather well with it from the onset. Many of us are unable to go to work anyway. We might be catching up on some of the many chores we have been neglecting, and maybe wondering how to pay the bills if our income stops. It is a uniquely troubling time, to say the least.
What about those of us who lack homes? Avoidance of others is facilitated by so many others staying at home where they belong. Otherwise, social distancing is the best we can do. Even that is quite difficult for those who live in very close proximity to others in the same situation. Because of the trouble of storing what we need, we must shop for food more frequently than others.
Larger Communities, such as Santa Cruz, are attempting to shelter more of those who lack shelter, particularly those who are classified as ‘high risk’. Hotels should be commended for their cooperation with this endeavor, and for providing uncrowded individual accommodations to the elderly! Many prefer to avoid crowded shelters where practical social distancing is impossible.
Lunches at both Felton Presbyterian Church and Saint John’s Catholic Church can not be served to our significant groups, although Felton Presbyterian Church continues to provide bagged individual lunches. As their flier in the picture above indicates, showers at Felton Presbyterian Church have been canceled. Fortunately, we have other meager resources, and adequate food.
We know how to work with limited assets.
News is confusing. We all know why it is so very important now though. There is no need to say so. Nor must we read about it in the flier above. There are plenty of other credible resources.
‘Better Homes & Gardens’ appeals to those with homes and perhaps associated gardens that are, well . . . better. It also appeals to those of us who would prefer our homes and gardens to be better than they presently are. Those of us who lack home or garden space are likely more concerned with basic survival than the latest fads and trends of contemporary domestic lifestyles.
Of course, that does not dictate that none of us are interested in domestic issues or gardening. Every one of us has lived in a home at one time or another, and intends to do so again. Many of us have likewise enjoyed gardening, and intend to do so again. In fact, a few of us presently enjoy gardening without our own garden spaces. Some of our gardens are remarkably productive!
Garden spaces are are not as difficult to procure as domestic situations are. Some of us who reside in homes but do not enjoy gardening are pleased for others to utilize some of our otherwise unused garden space, rather than allow it to remain fallow. Some even consider the cost of water consumed by a garden to be worth the incidental management of unwanted wild vegetation.
This happens to be the time of year for warm season vegetables to get started for summer and into autumn. None of us really need to grow any vegetables. We have access to more than we need from food distribution and donations. We just enjoy growing a few vegetables that are not commonly provided by the typical sources, such as tomatoes, green beans, peas and corn.
Some of us just enjoy gardening for the sake of gardening, and share the vegetables, fruits and even a few flowers with anyone in the Community who appreciates the produce.
How do those with whom we have no prior affiliation perceive us? It is impossible to know without some degree of acquaintance. Yet, new acquaintance, while providing rudimentary insight of how others perceive us, or how we perceive them, also changes such perception in the process. Is that good or bad? It could improve a bad first impression, or ruin a good first impression.
Good or bad, it is more accurate. To most of us, such accuracy is considered to be an asset. Accurate perceptions of others are useful for knowing who is trustworthy and who is not. Mistrust that is justified by accurate perception of character or experience is very different from a lack of trust of the unfamiliar. Conversely, justifiable trust of the familiar is earned with familiarity.
Sadly, some prefer to mistrust and fear the unfamiliar rather than attempt to determine if such mistrust and fear are even justified. For some, their potentially unfounded but very real fear is what prevents them from exploiting opportunities to become more acquainted and perhaps more comfortable with the sources of the same fear. Some merely lack opportunities to exploit.
What is worse is that there are a few who seem to crave mistrust and fear, regardless of their ability to engage sources of their mistrust and fear, and potentially dismiss unfounded threats. Although they do not likely live in constant fear, they claim to in order to justify their disdain for the sources of their alleged fear. They try to convince others that they should be fearful too.
The same accuracy of information that the logical sort employ to dispel unjustifiable mistrust and fear is an incumbrance to those who intently crave the same sort of mistrust and fear. They therefore and merely abstain from the use of accurate information.
It is now getting late on Sunday night. Nothing is written for this week yet. It will be a stretch to get these next few paragraphs written and posted before midnight.
I can formulate all sorts of excuses for my very late start. I really am ridiculously busy. However, the real reason for the difficulty of writing something for this week is very literally not very interesting. There are literally not many interesting topics to write about.
The weather is excellent.
Everyone is getting enough to eat.
Many of us who formerly lacked homes have procured habitation.
Many of us who had been unemployed have procured employment.
The Community is amazingly generous and supportive.
Even our pet companions have it pretty good.
This is getting to be redundant. I have repeated some of this information a few times in the past several months. The good news is that this is all good news. The bad news is that it is not very interesting after reading about if a few times.
In the past, there had been more interesting bad news to write about. It is scarce now.
Some have recommended that I write more about homeless culture and society. Some have expressed interest in brief biographies of members of the homeless Community. Such topics are not so easy to write about without compromising the privacy of those involved.
For a blog that evolved from a social network that originally exposed unfounded persecution and discrimination of the homeless, a lack of subjects to write about is a good thing.
I suspect that there will be a few new pleasant topics to write about this year. It is still too early to discuss some of those topics. It is not easy to wait for them.
Dixie has been gone longer than most of us realize. She passed away two years ago on February 18.
She certainly was the princess of her empire. Her dedication to her regal obligations was exemplary.
Of course, her species is famous for their dedication. That is why they stay with us when things get difficult.
Only a few years after losing the person she had always lived with, and the home that they shared in Boulder Creek, Dixie lost her second home south of Felton. She adapted and continued with her duties until the very end.
Galadriel, whom most of us know as Gala, spent most of her life in a comfortable home with a spacious fenced back yard. She does not miss it as long as she is with the person she has always lived with. The same applies to Meggy Mae, who has traveled to other towns and even Idaho as the person she lives with pursued employment.
Some of our companions lack permanent homes. Others live in comfortable homes and even in other towns, but come to visit enough to be integral components of our Community.
There are too many to get pictures of them all. Buddy is a stout rat terrier and chihuahua hybrid who had relocated to Gilroy and Morgan Hill for employment of his person, but is back in town now. Loki, a spitz, lost his person and their home several years ago, but now lives quite comfortably in Boulder Creek.
It is very difficult for everyone involved when a companion must live with other people in another home while his or her primary family is without a home. Most of the companions of those who lack homes within our Community have been very fortunate to be able to remain with their primary people.