Monday, March 27, 2006

For the Love of Algae

I spent this past weekend enjoying the very best thing about Nashville: my sister and her family.

It was PondFest 2006. My sister and her husband inherited a garden pond with the house they first rented, then bought, a few years back. The process of cleaning the pond, once another annual chore, is a ritual activity now engaged in by additional family and friends. Because my sister is a consummate organic gardener, almost everything we harvest, from fishpoopy water to pondbottom muck, is put to good use enriching her compost. The reward is that we get to enjoy the bounty of her garden later in the year. One thing is for sure: shit grows in Tennessee.

The work was hard but fun. In addition to our friend Lynne, fellow blogger Shannon joined us, as did my nephew and his friend Michelle, their puppy Ella, my sister's labs, Bossy and Belle, her friends Susie and Jim and their puppy, and my niece, Hannah. We had 12 hours of iPod streaming across the deck -- including some 30 versions of "Heard it Through the Grapevine" thanks to the incorrigible Shannon. My sister kept us more than a little well-fed with a gorgeous and fairly constant array of healthy eats -- and Hannah, with a little help from Mom, made us a beautiful fruit salad complete with the Wiggles song of the same name. We were positively gluttonous! Many hands made light work, a good thing since it was colder in Tennessee than it was back home in Cleveland!

Shannon is responsible for all these pics. For more, check out his Flickr site.

Being with all these people I love so much, doing something together, and just spending time talking and laughing was salve to a weary soul. I am truly fortunate. My sister is one of the most generous, hard-working, loving people I know and her hard-won family is a beautiful sight to behond. I am so grateful she came along because now we have Hannah and Mike, too! It is amazing to spend time with one of my two nephews (out of 10 grandchildren there are only two boys) now all grown up, working hard, partnered with a wonderful young woman, funny, musical, and smart. And of course my friends Lynne and Shannon, who have always been there when I needed them, whether it was for ice chips between pushes, mohitos on the beach, or patiently coaching me through the mathematics of craps.

Lynne and Shannon in early stages

Sistah does her best air guitar

Lynne watches closely as Algae Mama wields a shovelful of organic matter
Philosopher Mike contemplates,
"Why Should the Fire Die?"

Shannon and Ella
and Belle-a
Muckin around with nephew Adam and Lynne


At March 28, 2006 11:14 AM, Blogger Shannon said...

As always your post on Pond Cleaning 2006 seems so more eloquent then my own....

thank you for making me part of your Dawes family.

At March 30, 2006 9:01 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

I am in complete agreement about that wonderful family in Nashville. Your words made my heart happy and Shannon's pics were delightful! Now let me tell you about this garage in western South Dakota that needs a bit of work.

At April 06, 2006 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, just thought I'd chime in. Sounds like a grand old time and glad you all had fun. But I also thought there were THREE boys, with one of them our own....



At April 07, 2006 7:39 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

BWAH! Yes, I did forget my own son. LOL!

Thanks for commenting, Anonymous Sam. Interesting identity you have there!

At April 07, 2006 7:40 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...


Thank you for stopping by! I had a comment on here back to you that apparently never posted for some reason. But I'm glad you were able to join us if at least in Blogland. I think South Dakota has bigger problems than your garage, but it's a start! Sign me up!


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