A day can really slip by when you’re deliberately avoiding what you’re supposed to do.
~ Bill Watterson
I find the opening quote to be true. Today has been one of those days, a day of avoidance, and it has managed to slip by quickly. I’ve been avoiding the unpacking, the laundry, and any of the chores that can afford to be avoided. There are some, of course, that must be done no matter what. Cleaning the cats’ litter boxes, for example. Or washing dishes and cooking meals.
There was a corned beef brisket that needed to be cooked, too. I am not in the mood to cook today, but the brisket was easy enough. Put it in a Dutch oven, throw in cheesecloth-wrapped herbs and spices, add two quarts of water, bring it to a simmer, and then throw it all in a 275°F oven, covered, for 2.5-3 hours. M and I normally don’t eat meat very much unless there are carnivores and/or omnivores visiting us, but the briskets were on sale when we went grocery shopping on Saturday and I couldn’t resist. The carving part is M’s job and he can take care of that when he gets home. I want to have it carved, packaged in serving sizes for two, and frozen for future use. That way we can take some out whenever we want corned beef hash or Reuben sandwiches or whatever else you can do with corned beef.
I don’t know why I’m feeling so lazy today. Perhaps it’s just post-adventure slothfulness. I’ve spent some time sorting through photos from our brief trip, but mostly I’ve been staring out the window watching the bluebirds on the fence, the kingfisher doing his circles around the pond, and the wind shaking the trees. Every now and then I read a little bit. Soon I will get up and go for a walk. I haven’t been outside yet today, and it looks rather pleasant for a day that supposedly started with snow. I can’t say for sure it did snow. I missed it. Apparently it came through in the early morning hours while I was still sleeping. All evidence of it was gone by the time I woke up and looked out the window.
Our meander today is a continuation of the walk through the Elizabethan Gardens on Roanoke Island. I would like to go back someday during the summer months when the hydrangeas are in bloom. The hydrangeas are one of their featured collections, and I bet it’s beautiful when they are all flowering.
Did you know that Roanoke Island has the distinction of being one of the three oldest surviving English place-names in the U.S.? It was named in 1584 by two of Sir Walter Raleigh’s men, Captains Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe. There were people there long before Raleigh and his expeditions showed up. There is archaeological evidence of a settlement dating back to around 8000 B.C.E. (or B.C., if you prefer). I can’t find anything conclusive on when the original inhabitants became the Roanoac tribe. Somewhere around 400 B.C.E., maybe. The Roanoac tribe is listed as extinct.
The Roanoke Island Freemen’s Colony was established in 1863 during the U.S. Civil War. Slaves migrated there after Union forces took over the island. They were considered contraband, but the military forces did not want to return them to the Confederates so those who made it there were allowed to stay on the island. The colony became a kind of social experiment for the U.S. government in terms of what to do with the freed slaves. When the war ended, most of the freedmen left the island. It had become overcrowded and they had to contend with disease, a limited food supply, and a lack of work. Better to leave and go to the mainland since the army was providing free transport. Only around 300 freed people of color remained after U.S. troops left the island in 1870.
Before I forget, I want to show you what I can of an ancient live oak tucked within the Elizabethan Gardens. It is thought to have been living during the time when the first English colonists landed. Imagine all the things this tree could tell you if only you knew the language of the live oak trees. It is much too big to show you the entire tree in one photo, but perhaps you can get some idea of its size by looking at the bottom of the trunk.
Well, I should probably get up and take a little walk. It will soon be time to make some decisions about dinner, and start prepping and cooking. I’m thinking about making a cauliflower and potato curry with beans and brown rice. The other possibility is some kind of stir-fry, but my mouth is in the mood for a good curry.
Thank you for dropping by and meandering around the gardens with me. If you’d like to stay for sunset, I think it’s going to be a good one. There are lovely puffy clouds floating around in the sky ready to take on any color the light of the sun might want to provide. Sunset is at 7:16 PM. Let’s meet on the dock. I’m feeling too lazy to go down to the Point. Besides, a walk through the woods at sunset will be pleasant and we can see what’s going on out there.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
Today’s joys: The luxury of laziness; the tiny pink flowers blooming on the shrub outside the office window; the whistling of the wind; peony shoots popping up out of the ground; a hawk soaring over the meadows.