Back Among The Living

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It’s been nearly a year since the car wreck and I haven’t decided how to celebrate the anniversary: Stay off the roads… Or go back to the spot to “spike” it with my cane as if crossing a goal line. Getting back up on my feet has been a mental and physical journey during which I sometimes didn’t push hard enough and other times took on more than I was ready for. For instance, I should not have been climbing ladders and carrying things too heavy so early in my recovery. These ended up causing setbacks, sidelining me for weeks at a time.

Having been cooped up for so long, I was eager to feel back among the living.

A lot has happened since the accident:

My novel Blue Rubber Pool has been contracted for publication this September (2018). We’ve tackled the first round of revisions/edits and plan to have another go in June or July. Another novel is now under consideration by at least one literary agent and another has completed a second beta read. I’m halfway through a new story too.

I’m driving again. Some. At first, the old Jaguar. But now, finally, the Jeep. I’ve enjoyed a couple top-down outings on back roads to places more boondock than even Pineapple Hill. It felt good. Led Zeppelin or Dire Straits blaring. Or just the wind.

I’m back in the vineyard—repairing what was neglect during my time in the hospital and by deer last summer. Glad to see resilience among some of the older vines. And glad to be adding new ones—babies—that will someday contribute to my winemaking trials and tribulations. Too, I am watching the peaches and blackberries grow and wondering, again, what I’m doing wrong with the apples.

Repairmen are tackling projects interrupted by that car pulling in front of us last May, projects my injury won’t allow me to enjoy completing myself.

I started shopping for another sailboat then decided to hold off until further along in my recovery. I’ve booked a trip back to the beach. I’m back in the hot tub again, tending my bananas and bamboo again. Taking care of elderly parents again—back to watching them slip further into the mist of dementia. Shouldering this yoke again puts me closer to back to normal again. The track I was on was on before.

The other day I found a small tree growing in the farm truck, having rooted in soil caught between the tailgate and the bed. Wonderful, isn’t it, how the universe hangs on, keeps going as George Harrison said: “Within you and without you.”

# # #

—Tim Bryant, Surf Director

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Led Zeppelin’s 50th Anniversary

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Sooooooo I wrote Warner Music Group’s London office for permission to use Led Zeppelin lyrics in my Led Zeppelin 50thforthcoming book Blue Rubber Pool . I thought they’d go along within for kicks and giggles. You see, my book comes out in 2018–same year as their 50th anniversary.  I thought they’d like the guerilla marketing aspect (a lot of guerilla work occurs in Blue Rubber Pool). Too, I thought they wouldn’t–given the extent to which their music was influenced by others outside the band.

 

Dear Sir:
I’d like to be part of your 50th anniversary celebration for Led Zeppelin in 2018. During a difficult period in my life I wrote a sort of journal about a middle-aged guy whose sanity is spared after finding a long lost bag of weed tucked in a box with his favorite Led Zeppelin cassette. With these he climbs into a cheap rubber pool and floats off into a variety of adventures —many of which cause him to question the world around him (love, war, religion, capitalism, socialism, etc.).
The book is under contract pool book coverfor publication next year. The contract stipulates that I strip out all Led Zeppelin lyrics (they appear sporadically throughout the tale) or provide written permission to use them. I am writing to secure permission. My thought is that writers, painters and artists of all types should be invited to show the influence of Led Zeppelin across all art mediums. Wouldn’t that be cool: A worldwide grassroots “cheers” to the greatest band ever.
I’ll be glad to share the Blue Rubber Pool manuscript via email. Line edits begin in coming  months or so. I realize this is a long shot but look forward to your reply either way nevertheless.
Best regards,
tims's signature 1

 

What I got back: crickets. Combined with the usually nightly ruckus of geese brawling on the Jonesville Reservoir (not far through the trees at Pineapple Hill).

 

O well. We’re going with an Un-Ledded version. No prob.

But, still, it’s not too late for Led Zeppelin fans to demand a perfect world. Write LZ. Show up with pitchforks, torches and some friendly pints. Try reaching them here. Or here.

— Tim “JT” Bryant, Surf Director, Pineapple Hill

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The blackberry trellis (Voila!)

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We have lots of blackberries growing wild on Pineapple Hill along the bottom pasture prunbl1fence line and in a thicket concealing the ravine out by the road in front of our house. The ones along the pasture don’t get very big but are easy to pick. The ones in the thicket get plump as thumbs and so juicy they’ll burst when you pick them –but you risk your life going after them. The thorn’s will tear you to shreds like the wood chipper in Fargo. That is if the snakes don’t get you first.

And, of course, you don’t want to be snacking on berries (five for Management, two for Labor) right after the power company has stopped by for a neighborly spraying of highly poisonous defoilant. (We’ve agreed they should warn me next time.)

Your trellis design could look something like this. (You can also make one using bamboo.)
Your trellis design could look something like this.

Making the switch from boat to land and from city to boonies has not been without hiccups (as described in my book Blue Rubber Pool, coming out in 2018) and although I seem to be learning the hard way I am, at least, picking up a few tricks. For instance: the blackberry trellis.

Training blackberry canes to grow on a trellis is ingenious. And a good addition to another thing I’ve learned –not to plant grapevine too close to oak trees (because the tree drink up the water intended for grapes. So now my vineyard includes a few blackberry bushes too.

Set out some mesh fence (of the type used for a goat pasture). Plant the bush. Start but cutting off any old canes. Then periodically weave the new growth through the mesh. Voila!

Pick up your game yet another notch by using thornless blackberry plants. That’s right, thorn-less.

The blackberry trellis “set up” might also be a good solution for city/suburb dwellers wanting to grow berries in limited garden space.

Be sure to have a good recipe for blackberry daiquiri

Stay tuned for another episode of Green Acres.

— Tim “JT” Bryant, Surf Director, Pineapple Hill

 

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