Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gardens, etc.

(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?


wayside wanderer said...

It's funny how what we once thought of "old lady" suddenly creeps up on us and there we are. And now I think it isn't old at all, it is being educated and interested in life. But young people are dumb so what do they know? =)

I've been trying to master myself, too, only I have been calling it "growing in grace" in my mind and recognizing areas that I really need to grow. Change comes so slow, but I see that I need to accept even that. sigh

I look forward to your garden posts! Happy Spring!

Angela said...

Some days my life seems to be one long experience of Romans 7:21 - a constant battle between smiling beatifically [God bless you , sister!] or glaring maniacally [Move it along, sweetie!]

Breathe in, and out...

Blessings! x

Susan said...

What a lovey little old lady you will be with your "Breathe in God, breathe out resentment" demeanor. I recently started carrying a handkerchief in my purse. It has cute embroidered purple flowers and scalloped edges. It makes me feel like a refined little old lady. Additionally, it's reserved just for me; the kids still get the tissues.

Happy planting and planning. Happy growing into yourself.

March 22, 2011 10:21 AM

Melissa E said...

So glad the weather around here has been so nice! Nothing like watching the first plants of the Spring grow!

GretchenJoanna said...

I think you are making headway by calling the other driver "sweetie" instead of something else. No doubt planting and tending your flowers will bear fruit in the human relations department as well, as you think of other humans as tender plants. xxoo

The dB family said...

Aren't we glad for St. Paul and God's grace? I'm not always the most patient driver either. Can't wait to read more about your gardening endeavours! My rhubarb is up already :o)!


Pom Pom said...

I'm a big fan of old ladies, especially funny ones.
I'm excited about your garden! All the flowers and edibles will be fun to follow!

debbie bailey said...

Better a little old lady than a Vita Sackville-West! If you don't know who she is, Google her. But you being a writer AND a gardener probably already knows who she is.

victoria said...

For some reason my internet won't let me comment on the next post.
Poor second graders and their sadness. I felt sad reading about it. I hope they cheer up.
The finished quilt looks SO GOOD!!!!!!