How many of you have read the short, thought provoking book, Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D.? Some would make fun of reading a book about mice that can no longer find the cheese, but if you really think about the premise of this book and apply it to the implosion of society, the world economy and the coming scarcity of everything that has always been available at our fingertips, it takes on a whole new meaning. I would highly recommend reading it.
This gardening season has been filled with many challenges. In the spring we had record breaking rain. We would get a few things planted, then they would either get washed away or rot in the ground. We replanted and it would happen again. Well after ‘normal’ gardening season should have began here, many people didn’t have a thing in the ground and it was still too muddy to plant. We got some things in the ground, but they didn’t grow well because it was so wet and cloudy.
After it finally dried out and the sun and temperatures became more seasonal, guess who came to dinner? It seems every garden pest known to man arrived and in great numbers. While these bugs happily munched away at our garden, we were in full swing completing some projects that had been on the drawing board for a number of years. Then the 105*+ weather socked in here for about three weeks. We watered and watered and watered, and still the garden burned up. Now that the weather has cooled to more seasonable mid 90* temperatures, the next wave of bugs have arrived. And still we water with no rain in sight.
Our okra crop, that was planted three times, is very small and basically not producing this year. All of the squash has died and the seeds that I have replanted have either not germinated at all or been quickly devoured as soon as they dare peek their leaves up from the soil. Today I picked the first cucumber of the summer and it was a little tough. The green beans are burnt and bug eaten. They try to bloom and produce, but the bugs are having a hey day. The cowpeas are giving it their best shot, but the aphids have arrived and are enjoying their new home. Even though the tomato plants look very sad indeed, they are still the most productive plants we have. The pepper plants are very small, but are producing a small crop in spite of it all.
|Much of the soil washed away from these carrots|
In the spring when the rains came pouring down in sheets and ran across our fertile soil, it took the soil away in little streams down the gentle incline of our yard. We could only watch from the window as the healthy, fertile soil we had built up for years was carried away. When it was over, the bare untilled ground, much lighter in color, was exposed to the light of day and to our disappointed eyes. This has greatly reduced the fertility and productivity of our garden this year.
Why am I telling you this story? Because even though this has been a very difficult year for growing vegetables in our garden, we still have the opportunity to go to the store and purchase food. We can fill in the gaps that our gardening challenges have left. We can try again next year. So far this year, it doesn’t appear that we will starve without the food that we hoped to harvest over the past two months. So far.
Many folks around here this year have been having allergy/sinus issues, so I am not alone in that category. In a few weeks we hope to have a solution for this problem, but for now, it is another challenge to planting the fall garden and seeing how much more productivity we can achieve before winter arrives. Another hope on the horizon is the addition of our new greenhouse. I will try to grow many things through the winter this year to see just how many fresh vegetables we are able to produce in the garden and the greenhouse.
I do contract work online for a local school district and this year we are moving to a brand new program statewide. Many people are griping and complaining and figure they just won’t be able to figure it out. They just can’t do it. It will be too hard. It won’t be like the old program. Why do we have to change? Why? Why? Why? You
know what? Initially, populating all of the data in the new program will take a lot more time than last year. Some of it is still a little confusing at this point and not all of the data I provided was uploaded correctly and completely. This will require more analysis on my part to make sure everything is accurate and up to date as school starts next week. But I have no problem with this change. Why? Because I can easily see that the new program is more efficient and will ease my work load quite a bit. I am more than happy to put in the extra time and effort initially because in the end, I will reap the benefit of less work for the same output I performed a year ago. How can anyone gripe about that? Well, for some folks it appears to be the only way they can cope with change. How unfortunate for them. Change is a part of life, there is no way around that.
The premise of Who Moved My Cheese? deals with the adaptability of people, or in this case mice. Just as in this book, there are those among us that refuse to see the changes that are taking place all around us. They expect their ‘cheese’ to show up in the same place, the same way, at the same time, day after day. There are those that get angry when the cheese doesn’t show up in the same place, the same way, at the same time and have to have some one or some thing to blame for the late or
nonexistent arrival. There are those that will see if their neighbors have any cheese to spare and will beg a few crumbs from their table. There are those that will forcefully take any cheese they can find, because it is their right to have cheese, any cheese they choose, regardless of the rightful owner. There are those that realize that the cheese supply is dwindling down and will soon be gone. They can see the writing on the wall. So before their supply is totally depleted, they go in search of a new supply and greener pastures. If they find an abundance, they go back and tell their neighbors and friends so that they too, will have more cheese and not have to do without. Some will go to the new location and adapt to the changes that are required so that the supply of cheese will be steady. Others will refuse to leave and will sit and wait for the cheese to return. And wait, and wait, and wait, to no avail.
You see we have to be adaptable to manage the circumstances we have been given. Regardless, or sometimes in spite of, the challenges we face in achieving a goal, be it gardening, or weight
loss, or raising pigs, or the collapse of society or the economy, we have to be able to see alternative choices. If we are solely focused on accomplishing a task the same way we have always done it and that is no longer an option, will we accept failure? Will we just give up and say, “Well, I tried, but it just didn’t work.” A time will soon arrive when failure is not an option. Right now we still have that luxury. More and more I think of failure as a luxury. How many of us would have couched the term failure as a luxury five years ago? Not many I would guess.
Sooner rather than later your cheese is going to be moved so far away from it’s normal place that you need the mindset of being determined to find it. Otherwise, what are you going to eat? This short book will provide a mental exercise in preparing your mind for the catastrophic changes that are just around the corner.
Until next time – Fern