I’ve been practicing - learning to change the things I can, and to accept the things I can’t. I’m also reminding myself that other people get to choose how they spend their days. I get to choose how I spend mine. We all need to practice personal responsibility of course and work in teams, especially a marriage, but there’s plenty of margin around the edges to choose.
Why that particular thought belongs with covid gardening, I’m not sure. I’ve always had a garden, but in a pandemic it’s stylish again. Oh, so that’s why I ought to learn how to grow my own food! It's one of the silver linings to our current situation. Apparently covid gardens can go by other names more like the victory gardens of WWI and II - hope gardens, good news gardens. I like the term solace garden.
Planting and tending a vegetable garden, then harvesting and preparing food for the table is as real as real gets. I’m lucky that Mark appreciates my home-grown produce. He tells me he can eat all the swiss chard I can grow. He also loves beet greens with little beets attached to the end. We eat it all, right down to the roots. Bitter on top, then almost sweet at the end. Summer itself.
I like to include flowers with the vegies as well. This season it’s a row of sunflowers. They were doing wonderfully until yesterday when one stout, glorious fellow just fell over. When I investigated, I found insects had bored through the stem right at ground level. Now my perfect row has a hole in the middle of it. Mark said what he always says, “things are seldom ideal.”
Speaking of less than ideal circumstances, I took a drink from Mark’s water jug he had left in the front seat of the pickup. I felt something slide in my mouth and swallowed it; thought I was imagining things and took another swig only to have more slip down my throat. When I tipped the jug back an earwig was crawling by the mouthpiece. Yuck. The neighbor lady overheard me calling Mark to complain and suggested I call a nurse because the earwigs might burrow into my intestines. Not likely. I’m still alive and feeling fine. So - lesson learned. A word comes to mind when speaking of earwigs – interminable – and they are, so I’m sure many people have ingested them in their drinking water by mistake and lived to tell about it. When I went to bed last night I envisioned them crawling up my throat in my prone position.
Other July adventures included camping with my extended family. We reserved a large campground and arrived with a variety of tents (pup and family), campers (rented, old, new, deluxe), and a repurposed school bus (take away the s and h and it reads cool bus). We do like most families I suppose. Young adults bike and hike and tend kids, little kids explore and play in the dirt. Oldsters, of which I’m a member, prepare food and sit around the campfire telling stories. I broke ranks by going on a mountain bike ride with Seth, but I do love the campfire conversations. My niece said that’s why she goes camping with the family – for the stories. Bless her.
Like I said, I'm practicing - practicing gratitude most of all. And though the swallows are staging a good fight to use the porch for nesting, bugs are crawling and chewing, the heat has slowed grass regrowth to a crawl and the weeds are calling my name, I still walk around in awe of the headiness of mid-summer. We all know it won't last. I have a Buddhist saying near my keyboard, the trouble is you think you have time. July is like that.
|my solace garden|
|its been a great year for wild primrose |
|Thinnings for supper|
|I counted a dozen ladybugs feasting on ragweed aphid|
|climbing cucumber tendrils,|
so delicate yet so strong
|Callie enjoying Rich's cowboy coffee|
|this cow pasture is pollinator paradise|