Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Maybe it's time for Americans to start inside vegetable gardens and stay away from people who think mass gatherings are more important than staying alive

Swiss chard

When I walked to the nearby collard green and cabbage patch yesterday evening to pick a few rich green leaves for dinner, I discovered the most awful thing. There was nothing there. Zip. Nada. At least 50 more pickings gone bye-bye, disappeared. Graded over. I wanted to cry.

Car trips to 3 grocery stores laid bare the truly sad state of fresh farm produce near where I live. A relative had said I could have a large red kale plant in a planter on her back porch, but I put off taking it, because I was flush with great greens. I called her, the red kale plant is still there, I can come by and fetch it tomorrow. Whew!

My apartment has large east-facing windows. Why on earth did I not already start an inside potted-greens garden? In another life, I did a lot of vegetable gardening. Off in my car to a thrift store run by a church, hoping to find a suitable old table to put near the window and be a platform for potted green veggie feasts.

En route, I stopped at a convenience-gas store to top off my car's tank. $1.65 a gallon. Hadn't seen gas prices like that since 2005. Read online yesterday that crude oil is selling below $0 a barrel. Super oil glut caused by airlines not flying, cruise ships not sailing, wars not being fought, factories not running, because people are staying home a lot.

To my amazement, the thrift store was closed due to the coronavirus, according to a sign on the front door. How could an essential business be closed? Especially an essential business run by a church? Where will poor people buy clothes, tables, chairs, sofas, kitchen wares if they need them? Did God tell the church to close what Alabama's Republican governor had not ordered closed?

I drove to a Home Depot to see what was in their garden shop. The parking lot was pretty full. They had different kinds of cabbages in starter cups, and parsley. I could use that, so I picked through what was available and went to the seed rack. To my my amazement, they had no Swiss Chard, which is super rich in nutrients. I bought a pack of Russian red kale seeds, also super nutritious veggie. I found some smallish terracotta-colored planters with base cups, and put a dozen of them and a bag of garden soil in my shopping cart, and headed to the check out.

Maybe half the workers wore face masks, and maybe one-third of the customers . I was one of the maskers. At the check out, the young woman cashier hauled back and turned sideways and sneezed into her arm. She was not a masker. I pointed that out, she had sneezed, and I would go to self checkout, which did not seem capable of sneezing. But perhaps it was made in China and could sneeze if it wanted to.

From Home Depot, I drove to a Publix to see if they had a vegetable seed rack. About half the workers were maskers, the other half bare-faced. Less than half the customers were maskers. Publix didn't have a seed rack. I thought, hmm, a Walmart is nearby.

I  drove there. The parking lot was pretty full. Most of the workers were maskers. Not many of the customers hid their faces. Wow! What a great seed rack! Regular white-stemmed Swiss chard seeds, and red, orange and yellow-stemmed Swiss chard seeds. Yum, some day.

Home I went to start an inside green veggie garden, which will take about a month, perhaps, to start harvesting. Dang, why didn't I do this sooner? Well, I had a collard green and cabbage patch I figured would last into June. We plan, God laughs!

Later this afternoon, I will head to an Asian grocery market and get some yummy Asian greens. When I shopped there last week, everyone person in the store was a masker. Maybe Asian people like staying alive more than they like being reckless?

Before the Asian market, I have a date with my black pastor friend and a chess board outside a locally-owned  donut shop. It is more blessed to give than to receive is not a principle of chess. You try to take the other guy's pieces and keep your pieces. You intend to kill his king, or he gives up because his king's goose is cooked and it's all over but the carving knife and fork.

This minister closed his church, because he didn't want his parishioners to catch the China virus. His constitutional right to roam never entered this thoughts. If Alabama blacks think like he thinks, President Trump will not get their votes. He won't get my vote.

How could even think of voting for someone who tells people to pack churches, stage mass public protests and attend huge MAGAs rallies? They might as well get on all the beached cruise ships and sail off into the sunset in search of a port that will let them back on shore.


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