He's been talking about it for years, that man of mine.
He's been dreaming about how wonderful it would be if he could do this, since we've lived in this home.
He's been driving me crazy with ideas and the outcome.
He doesn't talk about a vacation to some exotic locale (but I do),
he doesn't dream about having the hair on his head back (but I do),
he doesn't lust after a shiny, red, mid-life-crisis convertible (but I do).
No, it's much more berserk than that.
He's been talking about planting an organic vegetable garden in our yard.
He's crazy with the idea that by mid-summer, he can make his own fresh salads from his own garden.
And I told him I had no wish to make and plant and tend to a garden.
You see, when we were growing up, we had a garden in our backyard.
It was huge!
It took up
an entire city block the whole center of our backyard where the above-ground pool used to be.
I mean, my parents took OUT the pool to make a garden!
What parents, knowing the heat and exhaustion from running around the neighborhood in hot, sunny Florida, and knowing how the pool made me so very popular because we were the only house on Brookview Drive South with a pool, would remove such a crucial piece of my teenage existence?
I was truly bummed. (I forgive you, now, mom).
Not only was my whole world turned up side down, but that Spring,
I learned how to till for days, pull out grass, avoid fire ant piles (I didn't do too well at this),
pull out grass, spread manure from 1,000 cows, make long row mounds for the seeds to go into,
avoid fire ant piles, pull weeds, put seeds into those long mounds until I couldn't see straight,
cover the seeds, and wait.
Did I also mention that I had the job of turning on the sprinkler for an hour every day after school?
This cut into my social schedule.
Anyway, the seeds began to sprout.
The rain, the sun and God did their miracles.
I still had to go out every few days and pull out the weeds (our whole family took turns doing this)
that found their way into the nursery.
But the babies were growing! And boy, how they grew!
When the tiny sprouts first came up, it was hard to differentiate between plants.
But the miniature leaves grew larger, until the leaves actually had shapes that differed from one another!
Within a month or so, some plants were ready for harvest!
We had crop after crop of vegetables.
What could we do with the "leftovers" after my mom canned or we ate them, but give them away?
At church, my parent's workplace, to neighbor's and friends.
How grateful the others were for the gifts! Their smiles and gratitude made the effort worthwhile.
We were told how delicious and fresh the vegetables were, and given many recipes to try.
Months of work (and ant bites) proved to be a rewarding way to spend my Spring and Summer.
All of this I recalled when Mark came home with a bag of seeds, starter pots and huge bag of dirt.
My daughters were excited about planting and planning and so then was I.
I spared them the story of my terrible Spring and we began.
Of course, Mark, being a geek, he had to make a spreadsheet
of how many seeds yield how many plants per person, space for growth,
days to germination and harvest, and planting depth,
oh! also Sarah wanted to make sure the plan included which plants liked each other and which didn't:
Of course, I had to measure and lay out and plot a design:
All the while, the beautiful day outside watched us inside:
We planted tiny seeds in tiny pots, watered them, covered them, and are waiting for them to grow.
Whew! That was hard work! We even got attacked by a rolly polly.
I know that when the plants sprout and begin to grow, we will all beam with pride at our babies.
We will marvel at the miracle of life.
We will watch them through the days as they begin their growth into a harvest of good food for us
and our neighbors and friends.
We will decide that the effort is worthwhile, when we and others are grateful for the fruit of our labor.
Mark will relish his first bite of his first salad grown in his first garden.
Months of work will prove to be a rewarding way to spend our Spring and Summer.
Honey, have I ever mentioned that I have always wanted fresh eggs?