'Ff'lo (fflo) wrote,

o what all i get done when out to do something else

Taken aback to find that it's this coming weekend, not one a fortnight away, on which my houseguests will be here, I set out today to prepare for them. And started out cleaning my room instead of theirs. And then spent a lot longer than I figured it would take putting seven of my eight tomato plants in the ground. (Ukrainian Oxheart bit the dust in a terrible snapped-stem accident, but the others survived.) If I had some photo manipulation software you might could make out better, in the picture below, this year's crop, in the ground & mounded, a couple with bits of Beth's purple pantyhose (now doubly recycled) for preliminary staking, but all still sans anything fer mulch:

new crop pic
foreground to background, if you could see:
Yellow Pear; Aunt Lillian's Yellow; Ethel Watkin's Best; Aunt Ginny's Purple;
Crnkovic the Slav; Glasnost (Lives On As A Tomato); Cherokee Chocolate

This is my second year with tomatoes, you loyal readers will no doubt recall. I knew I'd have to clear away the detritus of last year's plants, but I hadn't counted on all kinds of other stuff thinking it should grow in space so clearly reserved for an intentional crop. I mean, there's my little fence there, thrown up when critters had suddenly munched the better part of half of the 10 I grew last year. To me, the fence says "grow somewhere else"---doesn't this flora speak even the most basic symbolism? Had a big old blister, despite gloves, before I was even done hoeing.

'Sgonna be a pain cleaning out the berries this year. Thistles remarkably better, though. And, y'know, my slow-to-show-signs-of-life enthusiasm for working in the yard may be sprouting after all. Might prove to be a perennial, if you will. As I coiled the hose back up, having watered the patch, a feeling started to wiggle way down somewhere, and slowly come over me, and after I gathered up & put away the implements, took off the gloves, and headed in, it was there, in the better part of me --- in the better part of my physiognomy: the bodily gladness of being sore from grappling with plants and dirt, up and down off the ground, hours of muscles doing this kind of crazy manipulation of the bit of nature right here, nearby, just outside the shack. Part just the pleasure of hard work; part the pleasure of the particular work of this sort. Even this very minor-league tilling, this token touch of arranging the stuff growing to do or not do one thing or another, and maybe another, or two. There's something spiritual about it I've not put a mental finger on, and probably won't. I can tell you it has this whacky element of feeling connected to my dead family members, and their preceding dead family members, and their preceding dead family members, and so on, in this thing I never shared with any of them at the same place in time but somehow still share with them, and with myriad other individual human creatures, when I do that thing, even when I do it all alone.

I'm practically begging for derision there, hunh. Me myself, though: not taking the bait. It's preposterous & ridiculous but still not silly to me.

So maybe my houseguests will be glad I've got my tomatoes in the ground. If nothing else, I'll be happier when they arrive than if I'd let the little fellas die in their seedling pots. I'm sure I can still manage by Friday to make the indoors a tad more accomodating---beat a path to their sleeping spot, at least. Cuz, dang, the mosquitoes are already starting to appear in the later part of the day, so we might not want to sit outside all the time.

I do have an idea about marshmallows & a fire. Anything else fun you can recommend for a 7 year-old?

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