This Saturday started off like most others; my husband and I lying in bed sharing a pot of coffee and conversing about a variety of topics. We call this cherished morning ritual “Coffee Talk,” and it can last anywhere from a half hour to two hours. This morning I had to cut it short because I had a breakfast date.
At 8:45 I walked into town, past dozens of spiffed up cars lining Carbondale’s Main Street for the 11th annual Valley Cruisers Classic Car Show where visitors and locals were enjoying the crisp sunny Rocky Mountain morning as much as I was.
I met Gilad Atzmon, the Israeli saxophonist and fellow Palestinian rights activist along with three friends at the Village Smithy for breakfast and a lively two hour conversation that focused mainly on different ways to present the Israel/Palestine issue to the unaware and sometimes unfriendly public. Each of us have experienced backlash from our activism, but Gilad is the only one whose life has been overtly threatened. He related a story in which he and his band were traveling in Israel and he said something derogatory about the Israeli occupation, whereupon the hired driver stopped the van, pulled out a gun and aimed it at Gilad’s face. With his quick wit and sense of humor, Gilad managed to get out of the situation without having his head blown off, but it illustrates the danger of speaking out on this controversial topic, especially in Israel. It sure makes the threatening letters I’ve received pale in comparison.
I returned home at 11am and put on my work clothes, then drove two miles out of town to a private organic garden that I and a partner are managing. The landowners are providing the acreage and financing, while we provide the expertise and most of the labor. This is our first year so much of the work concerns preparing the soil and beds. The entire garden encompasses nearly an acre of land and will ideally produce enough food for 25 people.
After a few hours at the helm of the rototiller, I was asked to join the property owners for lunch of BBQd hamburgers, chips, and watermelon. Then it was back to the tiller for another few hours. We’re in the process of preparing an 82’ x 35’ plot for planting corn, beans, squash, broccoli, cabbage, melons and assorted salad veggies. We’ve already got an 82’x 27’ plot planted with six varieties of potatoes, three varieties of peas, carrots, radishes, beets, chard, lettuce, cabbage, mustard greens, and three kinds of onions.
When I returned home at 4pm I found my husband at the kitchen table with our maps and books of Central America spread out before him. He’d spent the day planning our upcoming 2300 mile bike tour of the Yucatan, Belize, Guatamala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. He showed me the route he’d worked out and then we went online to research airfares. It was exciting to see this trip which we’ve been planning for two years, finally starting to gel.
In 1999 we’d done a 4200 mile bike tour across America, and had met and traveled with two other groups of riders whom we have since kept in touch with via phone, email, and the occasional visit. We’ve been rereading our journal of that trip, day by day as it happened exactly ten years ago, and decided to call one of the guys we’d met and reminisce about our adventures. We ended up conversing for more than an hour and it was fun catching up on each other’s lives.
The evening was spent with the family watching one of our favorite sci-fi movies; The Fifth Element. Then it was early to bed after a very stimulating and satisfying day.