“And thus I travel, constantly singing the transcendental message of the glories of the Lord, vibrating this instrument called a vina, which is charged with transcendental sound and which was given to me by Lord Krsna.”

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.32 conversation between Narada and Vyasadev

Narada Muni travels anywhere by strumming on his vina, a gourd instrument.

We were recently  in Georgia, US, babysitting  my granddaughter while both her parents were traveling on business.  My son, Madhu, was  at the Special Olympics in Alberta, Canada.  The Johns Creek police department of which he is a member  supports  the Special Olympics and was one of the top fund raisers for it.  He was chosen to represent them there.

He was also chosen as the Johns Creek Officer of the Quarter while we were there.

The day we left we awoke to a covering of snow. It didn’t affect travel as the roads were still warm and it melted as fast as it landed there, but it did serve as a good starting point  contrast for a trip to the South.

We went a couple of days early and on one of them on his recommendation drove up into the foothills of the mountains to visit the Gourd Girls. They are gourd crafters who have a retail store and produce most of the goods sold in it.  (We were traveling and gourds were involved, hence the earlier reference to Narada Muni. :-)  )

They wrote a book called “Gourd Girls” so you can get the whole story there.

If you happen to be in northern Georgia stop and visit The Gourd Place.  It is about two hours north of Atlanta.  We got a few more good ideas on how to use gourds, plus we got to buy some unique gifts for people that weren’t Made In China.

We stopped and got some boiled peanuts at a roadside produce stand and also picked up some local honey and sorghum molasses.  In big cities and the suburbs American culture is usually  fairly homogenous.  Staying in the suburbs you could pretty much be in any suburb anywhere, but when you get out into the country you start to pick up the local flavor.

I was struck by how little land was actually in production, and the huge potential for local agriculture to grow in and replace the fossil fuel intensive food infrastructure we have now with food shipped thousands of miles before being consumed.

Solar energy is a good thing but there is huge potential for energy savings through conservation that can be had that takes little investment.  Like buying locally produced things and food.

While we were there we got to see Mary play in several lacrosse and basketball games as the seasons were overlapping.

That is Mary in the black tights and grey sleeves.

Anyway we got back home everything was okay and we have even gotten some decent weather to work in the garden.