Post-Garden Post: Garden? What garden?

I wrote about the storm yesterday.

Front-page headline in the local paper today: "All Hail Breaks Loose." Trees and tree branches down all over town, power out, gardens ruined, flooding downtown,  etc. etc. etc. No news yet about how local farmers fared. That’ll probably be in tomorrow’s paper.


That green blot above was my mid-summer lettuce plot; it gets a couple of hours’ sun in the morning, then shade all day, so lettuce usually does well there right through August.

So I’m trying to get used to a world without a garden. Almost as a perverse exercise, I’m “looking on the bright side.” (Maybe I should try a limerick.)  This is not like me.

A confirmed and dedicated pessimist, I loved the poster a former dentist of mine had on his wall: it showed a damp and furious-looking kitten, with the caption, “Don’t tell ME to have a good day!” There’s a remarkable resemblance here to the meditative advice: sit with the emotion, whatever it is. I keep close to my heart the story about an African tribe that honored grief: instead of hurrying a widow through it, they provided the option of a second funeral if she felt the need a year after her husband’s death.

(Please don’t ask me which tribe; I don’t know. Which means the story could be apocryphal; most of us know so little about Africa that we could get away with almost anything by prefacing it with the words “There’s a tribe in Africa that—” I find this increasingly embarassing as I meet and become friends with more and more Africans.)

Nevertheless, here I am making lists of possible benefits to being garden-less.

There are the obvious ones–

  Think how much more time I’ll have!   

   There’s  plenty of space for fall crops!

–and the practical ones–

   I won’t have to water anything for at least a week. (Ooh–that one doesn’t really work, since there isn’t really much left to water.  Try again.)

   Good thing Steve’s brothers arrive tonight; I’ll have plenty of help with the clean-up! (Brace yourselves guys; I hope you brought your rakes.)

–the pseudo-practical ones–

   Look–the salad lettuce is pre-torn!

   There’s certainly lots of green stuff around for the compost heap!

   And it’s already mulched!

   Hey–all my trees have been trimmed–for free!

   At least I don’t have to figure out what to do with all that extra lettuce.

–the defensive ones–

 Now no one will know how late I was with my garden this year!

And then there are those that are clearly the products of a twisted mind:

   Wow, I sure seem cheerful–now we know my anti-depressant medication is working!

   The compost pile came through without a scratch!

   That trip in September? The one I almost didn’t want to go on, because it meant I’d miss the fall harvest? Well, now I won’t.

But my older son’s contribution is the best:

#1 Son: Well, it’s not everyone who gets to have the question of whether God really and truly hates them answered so clearly and definitively. No more wondering! No more questioning! That knowledge is priceless. You’re not writing that down, are you?

Me: No, never.

#1 Son: Well, you should. It’s better than anything you could come up with!

Ain’t it the truth. As my mother-in-law used to say, You gotta laugh.

5 Responses to Post-Garden Post: Garden? What garden?

  1. Next time it hails, give your sun two umbrellas and push him out the door. Tell him to protect your favorite plants (within close proximitiy, of course). When he asks what about him, give him a hard hat.

  2. wow, pretty impressive destruction. For some reason, your list reminds me of the movie Roxanne with Steve Martin when he comes up with his own nose insults. Don’t know why I felt the need to share that…

  3. Actually, Benjamin, said son was dashing about minus umbrellas hauling tarps from the garage and setting them out in an attempt to prevent the basement from flooding. He’s pretty intrepid, but even he had his arms up over his head.
    Share away, Michãel. Aren’t you glad you’re in Australia right now? Have you heard from anyone else here in Bozeman about the storm?

  4. Hmm. It could be your chance to play with cover crops. Enhance your soil. I’ll go hide now.

  5. I hadn’t heard of the storm, but I have heard of the mountain lions stalking hikers at Kirk Hill!

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