Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Velma and the Victory Garden

Three years ago today Fredrik and I were surrounded by friends and family from all over the world who came to celebrate our nuptials. It was the most FUN day of my life. Yay us! I can't believe 3 years have gone by in a flash. I can't believe all that's changed in 3 years. It's hard to believe we now have a baby, a dog, a car, a house, and live in a neighborhood where our neighbors hang out because we're friends, we borrow each others ladders and plungers, drop off sweet potatoes recovered from our garden plots, take walks with our babies in strollers, and get together to carve pumpkins (yep, that happens tonight!) It's hard to believe in this coming year we'll be bringing home our son. I'm feeling really grown up all of a sudden. I feel like a real MAMA...not just to my own kid, but suddenly I feel responsible to more than just me.

So, back to the anniversary. What to get my handsome groom to commemorate year 3? The customary gift for year 3 is leather. Bad news and kind of inappropriate for a couple stepping into veganism. My plan was to bake him some vegan pumpkin muffins, lame, I know. And then I went to yoga. *Note to self: good things happen when you just go to class.

I walked into the studio, still not content on the muffins and wondering what I could get my husband at Whole Foods. I had a 15 minute window after class before I needed to be home to feed Kysa, but like he really wants a candle or bath salts?! ugh, what to do? So after I signed in, Andrea, one of the amazing directors of the studio asked me four magic words: You want a turkey?

YES!!! please.

So I went over to a stack of pictures she had of turkeys who needed to be adopted at Farm Sanctuary. I looked at pictures of turkeys named Jordan, Reese, and Harley all very regal and white and quite beautiful....and then I saw Velma. She was kind of scraggly, and brown. Not the most regal turkey in the bunch, but she was certainly cute in a tough girl kind of way. Her description said she had been neglected and abandoned on the side of the road. That was it. Velma became Fredrik's newly adopted TURKEY! So much better than a new wallet, or belt, or leathery token of my affection.

I don't think I've ever had so much joy buying a gift. Really. Velma will live out her sweet turkey days at Farm Sanctuary in peace without torture, neglect, horrific living conditions and certainly no slaughter. She will have a place of honor at our Thanksgiving dinner this year...just think a LIVE turkey this year. Thanksliving.

And just when I thought I had outdone myself with my gift to my groom, he surprised me with purchasing the vegetable seed needs for 50 Victory Garden participants in Ethiopia, which is a program for 200 students from the village of Atebes in Ethiopia. Students will be trained annually in growing victory gardens to harvest fruits and vegetables for food and income. The students are taught surface water harvesting which will help reduce the impact of drought, and the victory gardens will provide food to students and families. Oh YAY!!!

Last year I probably would have jumped on the leather train and hinted about a new bag or jacket. Something in me shifted after Kysa was born, and continued to shift now that we're embarking on this adoption journey. My vision has changed, it's not just about me anymore. I'm beginning to see more clearly that we're all in this together...Turkeys, Ethiopian students growing victory gardens, husbands, wives, parents and children, you and me. We're all the same. Really.

May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.

Happy Anniversary, Fredrik!!! I love you.

This is an actual picture of Velma in all her Turkey glory. May she live a long and happy life. You can read more about her and her inspiring rescue story with the link below. You can even adopt a Turkey too! Believe me, saving a turkey feels much better than eating one!!


  1. i love your presents to each other. LOVE the open eyes and hearts and all of that gooey love coming out of both of you. Kysa, Lexie and baby boy to be named later and now Velma are so lucky! Danielle

  2. Allison, as your father I have always marveled at your ability to express yourself in your writing ability! I have come to realize my son-in-law is also very talented in his writing skills. Love your blog! Dad