Growing up on a farm and having six brothers meant I never had to venture into the fields. My farm work was cooking and cleaning, although once I remember having to help put up hay. That morning I watched Dad and my brothers walk out the door in jeans and long sleeves and with the temperature hovering around 95, I thought I was the smart one to show up in shorts and a tank top. I got sunburned, scratched off an entire layer of skin from the rough bales of hay and sunburned the next layer.
Farmer’s aren’t much for warning you about hazards. They are of the “Make the mistake yourself and you’ll never do it again,” mindset. It worked because I never made the mistake of helping put up hay again.
Mom put in an enormous vegetable garden every year and every year, when the weather got too hot and humid, she abandoned it. I know that Dad loved Mom because every spring he spread manure and ran the rototiller all over the garden — the garden of Mom’s hopeful dreams and the same exact garden that would be abandoned before harvest time.
I abandoned gardening all together a few years ago. I’d look out the window at the once symmetrically-square boxwoods that were now lopsided and frost burned, and rather than pull on my gloves and grab my garden tools, I laid down on the couch and napped. With no frame to prop them up, bright pink peony heads lay in the dirt and cried for help. I crawled in bed and slept. The robust viburnum claimed the front sidewalk and I fell asleep in a chair.
We moved to a new house three years ago and I swore off all gardening. But this house, or I should say this yard, is not going to let me off that easily. For the first two years the landscape company refused to mow a weedy patch in the far sunny corner of the yard. This year the new puppy thought this weedy patch was nirvana, so I wandered out to see what was so special. Turns out, in between the grass and weeds, there was a nice patch of asparagus, which appears to be Orlee’s favorite snack. Hmmm, which may explain her knocking me into next week when she saw me messing with it.
Then I noticed that a tiny tree had some sort of knobby disease on it, but turns out, it’s an apple tree.
There’s some lesson here that the Universe is trying to teach me, but I haven’t figured it out. Maybe it’s like the Farmer’s trick of letting me make the mistake and learn the hard way, or maybe I should just go take a nap.