She may not have known this, but I looked up to Chris a lot. She was one of those people who intimidated me a little bit. She was so damned determined and stubborn, and she was so good at things that I want to be good at. I want to have an Earthship someday, with a permaculture garden and self-sufficiency. Chris said to hell with someday, and she had a full garden in a freaking trailer park, feeding her family and growing so many beautiful things. I make a lousy ring of recycled tires in my yard that don’t get used like I wanted. Chris got my kids to help her build a huge wattle fence across the front of her yard and completely landscaped the backyard into a new family homestead within months of moving into a new house. I wanted to run a marathon and never quite made it. Chris would do the equivalent of several marathons a week in her Zumba classes and training and practice. I complain about trying to buy organic and eat healthy on a budget. Chris did it on food stamps and her back yard and put my pathetic budgeting to shame.
We talked about her coming and redoing my yard sometime, looking at it and helping me determine the best way to set up plots, what to plant where, how to tend it, teaching me how to do what she did. Between us, we never seemed to find the time. Now that time is gone.
But what is remembered, lives.
I will keep her spirit alive by bringing her magic into my life. I want to do some of the little things that she did that I found so cool, like setting up a row of little trash cans with signs above them so detailed that even the most dim-witted could figure out where the recycling and compost went. I want to get my garden growing again, tended and cared for instead of haphazardly placed and forgotten. I want to do more, be involved in more…frakking get out of the house more.
I probably won’t be as good at any of it as she was. But she’ll live on in my inspiration, and continue to be one of those people that I strive to be more like.