Life is interesting, isn't it? Even when it seems bland and boring there is still always a chance for excitement, change, or who-knows-what. I'm a chronic reminisce-er (I just made that word up). I love to remember old times, good and bad. I like to think about how each and every moment of our lives creates the future that is now our present. How each and every breath is just a tiny pause before an unknown future. Who knows what will happen? I don't. That's exciting. Even the most mundane days can change in an instant. I try to be aware of each moment.
This weekend I started thinking about how things come full circle. It all started because of some peppers. In the garden we're growing Fatalii peppers. If you like a hot pepper, these are for you. They're HOT, hotter on the Scoville scale than a jalapeno -- 14 to 160 times hotter. They have an amazing flavor, and go great in spicing up dishes, cheese and crackers, or topping the cream cheese on your bagel (one of my favorites). My hubby picked some peppers Saturday, and when he came inside with his hat full he mentioned our friend Lorrie. He thanked her for the peppers, and we both started thinking about the journey those peppers he just picked made.
Five years ago a friend gave us a gallon bag full of a mix of peppers that his friend grew. Some were sweet, some were hot, and all were delicious. One of the peppers we came across in the bag were these small, yellow, pointed peppers that smelled really terrible like cat pee. So, being the foodies we are, we sliced it up and tossed a few rings onto a cracker with cream cheese. And WOW! The flavor was phenomenal, the heat was almost unbearable. We were in love. But, we had a problem. We had no idea what the pepper was, and we didn't know the friend of a friend who grew it, either. So we searched a little online, but couldn't find anything definite. Life went on.
A year or so later I was setting up and selling Niffer's All Natural Products at our local farmers market (Morgan's Grove Market) in West Virginia. It was there that we met Lorrie and Bob from Stony Ridge Farm. One of the Saturdays we were there my husband was over looking at the produce that Lorrie and Bob were offering, and he noticed little yellow peppers that resembled some of those yellow cat pee peppers. "Fatalii peppers!" Lorrie said. Unaware of his conversation, suddenly I see running towards me, my husband with a giant grin, waving hot yellow peppers at me, through the crowded farmers market, "LOOK! LOOK! Lorrie has THE pepper! The cat pee pepper!" We bought them all, of course! We took them home, ate them, and saved the seeds.
I kept the seeds in a zip lock bag for four years. They hung on the magnetic white board for all of those four years. During that four years we moved from RV to friend's, and then to Tennessee. For four years we waited. We didn't know if the seeds would still grow, but I refused to throw them away. After four years of holding onto these seeds we finally put them in the ground. After four years, we have three pepper plants in the garden popping bright yellow peppers all over them. Four years was worth the wait.
One year and one day ago in the pouring rain Lorrie helped load a U-Haul. She sacrificed her precious time on a Saturday, away from her farm, to help me load up a U-Haul heading to Sneedville, Tennessee. In that very truck was the zip lock bag full of Fatalii pepper seeds from her farm. Without her help we wouldn't have been able to leave that Sunday like we planned. I'm so grateful for the few hours she gave, to help me move the boxes up the steep hill into the moving truck, and in the pouring rain! And today, I'm so grateful for her and Bob's wonderfully curious personalities that inspired them to start their farm, that allowed us to have three bushy pepper plants in our own garden.
One year ago today we took a giant leap. We moved over 400 miles into a town where we didn't know anyone. In the last 365 days we have made many friends, fallen in love with our kooky neighbors, and have never tired of the beauty that surrounds us in the amazing state. We have, hopefully, so many more years to come. I look forward to the unknown, to what other circles there will be. New friends, old friends, hard times, good times, and appreciating each and every bit of it.