(Overlooking the valley from Monticello's gardens)
It's 10:23; already the morning is getting away from me. I'm sitting on the back porch and listening to the chatter of birds and the racket of machinery down the street--someone is having a tree cut down. The yard is a mess. We're about to build the new beds, so lumber and shovels and hoes and rakes and hoses are everywhere. I'm happy to report that my sugar snaps and green peas are growing like crazy in what I've started calling "The Little Garden." I'm building them trellises to climb on.
There's lots to write about, but it would all come out hodgepodge. I'm in the process of planting seeds in containers--sweet peas and bluebells, for starters--so I can have flowers growing against the garage wall. The dirt next to the garage is no good, so containers it is. I've also started seeds in eggshells; they're in the downstairs bathroom getting their little starts on life. They're heirloom seeds I ordered from Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds out in Missouri. Zinnia, 4 O'Clocks and Canterbury Bells.
I've always wanted to grow flowers, but have always been lacking in something or another--land, money, time, direct sun. This year I have enough of what I need to get started. Start small, they say, and I'm trying. I want to plant everything, of course. A packet of seeds cost $2; why not buy the whole catalog?
So there's the garden to write about, and the quilt I'm almost finished with. This morning I scouted out the laundromat near my grocery store for oversized washing machines, which they have and cost $5.50 a load! Ah, the price one pays for beauty. Then I went to the library and picked up more books about gardening. I'm supposed to be working on a revision of a new book, but I just want to read about flowers and watch my peas grow.
I have been working on mastering myself during morning drop-off at Our Fine School. Remember how in Little Women the girls all thought of themselves as pilgrims on the path to Paradise? They had burdens to carry (Jo's, if I recall, was the fact that she was a girl) and things about themselves they needed to master--bad tempers (Jo), vanity (Amy), and the like. I don't think this is the paradigm most people live their lives by anymore. We're too busy trying to lose weight and get into great physical shape. But we're very accepting of our greed and lust and bad tempers. It's funny. I read somewhere that we've turned the seven deadly sins into virtues, and I think it's true.
Anyway, I have a very bad attitude at morning drop-off. I could justify it by saying that everyone but me drives like a total idiot, and that's true enough, but when one is trying to master oneself, self-justification might not be the best route to take.
Sadly, I'm so much like St. Paul, always doing what I would not do, and failing to do what I would. Yesterday, as I took the right turn onto campus, I told myself I would only think loving, kind thoughts about my fellow drivers, and I did such a good job--until I just couldn't stand it anymore and yelled, "Move it, sweetie!" at some hussy in a Ford Explorer. Sigh. She couldn't hear me, but still. My words were not said with love.
Today I tried a breathing exercise. "Breathe in God, breathe out irritation. Breathe in God, breathe out resentment." Etc. That seemed to work fairly well, and I'll try it again tomorrow.
So that's where I am right now. Expect lots more garden talk in the upcoming weeks--and hopefully pictures as well. I was planting some seeds yesterday and thought, "Oh, my goodness, I'm turning into a little old lady." But you know, I don't think that's such a terrible thing to be, do you?
I'm a writer and a stay-at-home mom who keeps meaning to mop the floors because I think it would make me happy if I did. I love books and music and writing, spend entirely too much time in the dentist's chair (I bet I have more crowns than you do), and used to think I was sort of bohemian, but now I wonder. No tattoos. Minivan. That story.