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Scarcity

Sometimes we go thru seasons of life where nothing really seems to reach around. Time, money, patience, you name it. Like the $30 bedspread I bought on Amazon, we keep thinking, "If only I could just add three inches of fabric on each side, this would be perfect." We tug and pull and frown and can never get things arranged quite right. Sometimes it's even our literal clothes that aren't fitting so well at the moment. Because stressful schedules often happen to lead to way too many 3 o'clock coffees accompanied by oatmeal cookies or chocolate chip granola.


My calendar on the fridge is filled with tiny writing - my sister in law's cleaning schedule, dad in law's therapy twice a week.... It's all color coded and mixed with various doctors appointments and immigration interviews that just all goes along with an immigrant family of seven. After messing up the date and time of two doctors appointments within two weeks, yesterday I was feeling pretty short on brain cells. And once you get started with the scarcity mindset, suddenly nothing in your life is enough. You can spiral downward so quick. Or at least I can. Within minutes I was beating up on my self for not losing the baby weight, worrying about family issues, thinking about money, and so on.


In reality, yesterday was a beautiful day. I had both my moms over to sew. I made both pumpkin cinnamon rolls and French bread and both families came over for lasagna, rice and lima beans cooked with crabs, and beet salad. Some of my favorite food ever.


On Monday I was checking out my garden with my mom. It's supposed to freeze tonight so we were trying to decide what to cover and save as it's also supposed to get back up to 85 degrees by Monday. She said my okra was ugly and my eggplants looked like women who had had way too many children one after the other. And why didn't I cover the marigolds instead. But actually the ugly ten foot high stalks on those okra plants got that way by bearing close to two gallons a week of abundance. And they don't know the weather is calling for a freeze so they're still full of hopeful yellow flowers with purple centers. And my mama eggplants just made a valiant effort and burst into bloom again when the weather cooled a bit last month. I probably got ten off of each plant just that last time and altogether they've probably given me over a hundred this season. The marigolds were a different story. I planted them in the heat at a wierd time along with some winter squash who succombed to a squash vine borer. They grew into huge bushes, finally taking over most of the bed, but would never put on blooms. I almost pulled them out many times. But in these last week's of October, they have been covered with blooms. They too are having their moment of abundance.


And maybe we all have our own story like the plants. Could be our season of abundance is making us look a little tired and less vibrant right now. It's truly a lot of work bearing eggplants and having babies.

Or maybe we're a little bit of a late bloomer and our time to bloom is yet to come. And when we do, it will be quite spectacular.


My little girl is another example of how you don't need perfection to live an abundant life. She doesn't have a large vocabulary but is an excellent communicator, going on for hours about how outside is cold and the propane heater is hot. She is obsessed with goats, namely three things about them: they say "baaaaaaa," they go "butt, butt, butt," and they are "pooey." She is basically a drill Sargeant, forcing me to go out and take her in the wagon to watch Grandpa's billy goat from a far, and by the way, the smell is truly terrible. She hasn't quite mastered plugging her nose yet. Instead her fingers go in her mouth, which she knows isn't right, so she grabs my hand and insists that I plug her nose for her. She had a scary experience with the neighbor's puppy the other day and I feel like she's inherited the Nichols tendency to embrace any experience that will make a good story. We reenact the tale often where Charlie goes "lick, lick, lick," and Ava says "waaaa," then shakes her finger and says very sternly, "HOME, HOME." Charlie must be put in his place.


This morning, I came out to the couch to watch it get light in solitude. Something that doesn't happen that often. The sunshine turned the pine trees golden and I imagined for a minute I lived somewhere where there was actually fall color. My lima beans, purple hull peas, Tabasco peppers, and zucchini are cozy under their mismatched frost blankets. I have cabbage heads forming that can handle a bit of cold. And the ten foot okra will probably get replaced by lettuce. I'm gonna pick a huge bouquet of marigolds today. I'm gonna miss them, and the field of black eyed Susan's we pass on the way to and from therapy.


But abundance and scarcity come in seasons. And maybe I'll keep the Amazon bedspread as an every morning reminder to be OK with places of scarcity in my life. My husband does love the color.

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