Friday, March 18, 2011

Cleaning....and Learning OR Which are you, a Geranium or a Butternut Squash? ;)

Last fall I had a plethora of butternut squashes. I gave some away and when people stopped taking, I put the rest in the unfinished basement for us to use all winter.

Except it seems nobody but me likes to eat butternut squash. Boo. The Butternut Squash lasagna was a no-go(even for me--it was that weird). They don't like it mashed or roasted. And it's not exactly low-carb(that's hubby's excuse, lol).  The only success I had was sneaking the leftover mashed squash into pastured beef stew for the kids and I one night and they all ate it, though at the very end of the meal my oldest voiced  his suspicion and I pled ignorance.

I was cleaning out our sunporch a bit recently, and decided to bring the geraniums up from the basement, where they spent the winter as an experiment to see if I could do it. The butternuts were in a paper bag on the shelf below the geraniums, which were near the tiny window.

The geraniums made it through the winter and have green leaves and are now gearing up for spring in my sunporch.

The butternut squash, on the other hand, did not make it so well. 

I don't know if it's because we got water in our basement a couple times and there was more opportunity for mold,(the water didn't reach the squash) or if it would have happened anyway, but I brought up the strong paper bag and set it in the porch to deal with later. It didn't  look too bad, really....until a little bit ago when I saw the pool of orange goo making its way through the bottom of the bag and across the floor. Upon further inspection, they were ALL in varying degrees on unappetizing decay. I got the snow shovel and hauled them out to the compost pile and cleaned up the mess in the porch. All before I thought to take a picture. Aren't you glad? ;)

What I've learned:

1. Look for more places to rehome the squash we grow this year. Don't simply hoard them.

2. What I do keep, I need to check on more often or process in the fall/early winter and FREEZE so it won't go to waste.

3. If I don't do the above, it's just going to go to waste and I shouldn't have gone to the effort of growing it in the first place...unless I just wanted some organic matter to add to the compost(lots of effort in that contribution!).  I did salvage a few squash that were in a more-visible and more-air-circulating large egg basket and I think I am going to try making a pie out of some of them...

How can I carry this over to other avenues of life? I find that Matthew 25, the parable of the talents, came to mind in my thoughts about this.

1. Determine what are my gifts and talents. Whether it be providing a meal for my family, finding information for someone, music, gardening, teaching, whatever.

2. Look for ways to use them--and actually put them to use.

3. If I don't use my talents, they just might to go waste.  I should look for unique ways of using my talents (like butternut squash pie ;)).

I almost stopped there. But then I looked at my Geraniums, which spent the same amount of time in essentially the same place as the squash. But they turned out completely different.

We as women often press ourselves to do too much....often from reading stuff like I wrote above.  I would like to suggest that.....there IS a time to rest, to sit back and rejuvenate and sort of "go dormant"...for a time. The goal, though, is not to languish so long that we sort of stagnate and decay(like the squash), but rather, we should get our cups filled(however that may look for you---personally, music based on Scripture does a lot for my soul in these times, as well as time to myself) so that we can then emerge, ready to grow and flourish and share our talents with others(much like the Geraniums share their beauty).

There. How's that for an analogy?

So, Be a Geranium! (Not a Butternut, hehe)

All the best to you and yours! Spring is on its way soon!

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