I Heart Indies

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Planting

Nancy and I put in our garden the first week of April, one of the benefits of climate change being a longer growing season. We grow all the usual stuff – tomatoes, of course, which someone once identified as the gateway drug of home gardening – peppers, squash, cucumber, eggplant, okra, and this year, pole beans. In the past I’ve also planted corn, which wasn’t that satisfactory, except that it’s so fun to watch grow. “The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye,” goes the song from Oklahoma, and me, whenever I see those unlikely-looking green stalks shoot up out of the ground.
In addition to planting, Nancy and I have another ritual which is arguing about what to plant and how. Nancy has concepts about stringing beans and even stringing tomatoes which I consider ill-advised if not downright foolhardy. On Nancy’s part, she thinks the spot I’ve chosen for the tomatoes is too shady. Privately I’ve concluded she’s probably right, but I’m danged if I’ll tell her so.
The sun is hot and birds are singing. I tell Nancy she’s beautiful and she gives me a look, like, “Go ahead and pull the other one.” She doesn’t believe me, but I don’t try to persuade her. There’s something about a hard-working woman digging holes in the ground beside you, and the warm air, and birds singing, and the pink flowers on the dogwood and the azaelas, and spring is in my blood, and dirt is under my nails, and there’s a streak of dirt across Nancy’s sweaty forehead, and I think again how beautiful she is and how much I love her. But I don’t tell her she’s beautiful because she wouldn’t believe it, and anyway she’ll go right on being beautiful whether I tell her or not.
But I have to say something, so instead I say, “I think you’re right about the tomatoes,” and Nancy nods, just like I knew she would, and wipes the sweat from her forehead with the back of her glove.

I love spring.

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