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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


Beer Flats and Tomatoes

My darling neighbors, Ramone and Virginia, are both octogenarians. Ramone is starting to show his age, a few years ago he fell off his roof and hurt himself pretty badly, now he struggles to walk around. But, Virginia, she makes me look like a sloth stuck in a tar pit. That woman gets up at the crack of dawn, hangs out her laundry, goes for a walk and then she gets her day started.

For 25 years Virginia owned a liquor store in our downtown area. She ran the place herself until she got tired of fussing with the kids that would run in and steal a can of beer. She sold the business at the tender age of 73.

She keeps in contact with the new owners because she still owns the building. She’s a landlord for crying out loud!

I was over talking to her and Ramone a couple of days ago as they sat on their side porch enjoying the warm sun. Our conversations usually tend to vacillate between what’s growing in the garden, the kids and all the animals. I told Virginia that I had an abundance of large green tomatoes hanging in my garden. Then she asked me if I had any beer flats. Beer flats?

Yesterday, as I was lounging around in my pj’s talking on the phone Virginia knocked on my door. I sprinted upstairs to put some clothes on and then ran outside trying to act like I had been up for hours, cleaned my house, cooked twelve meals and given birth. But, I don’t think she was buying it.

In the back seat of her car she had beer flats to give to me. She had stopped by her old liquor store and asked for some on her way to quilting with the ladies. She told me to wrap my tomatoes in newspaper and lay them in the beer flats then store them in the basement. The tomatoes will ripen slowly and I should have fresh tomatoes all winter. I love Virginia, maybe someday I’ll have a smidgen of her energy.

Now, all I need is some newspaper.

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