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In my mind’s eye I can see it and it is beautiful!
A four layer rock wall frames it perfectly. The soil is deeply dug, and dark with compost and organic matter from the yard cleanup we have just accomplished. Lots of moving and depositing worms keep the soil airy and fertile. It is immaculate, with just the right spacing between plants and the richness of the exposed soil looking like a fresh clean carpet. Later we will add heaps of hay for mulch to keep the roots of my contented little flora from getting chilled. The happy little plants practically sing with joy in their new environment. No matter what weather comes, the garden is clean, it is thriving, and it is producing lots of wonderful kitchen herbs and vegetables.
Then my husband comes in and awakens me out of my revelry. No bother, he is just the man I want to see. My Bob, a little on the grumpy side sometimes, overworked and tired most of the time, and yet to me he looks like a person who would enjoy a challenge! Certainly an opportunity to work alongside his loving wife of twenty some odd years. I turn to him in excitement and tell him about our new project.
"You know where you just took down the boys’ swimming pool?"
He nods his head yes, and kinda grunts to let me know that he heard me.
"I want to put a small kitchen garden in that spot. What do you think about that?"
He furrows his brow and laughs at the same time. How does he do that? "What are you talking about, Jo?" He moves closer to me so he can see what I am looking at out of the French doors in my dining room.
"There." I point to the little round bald looking spot in our back yard where our little grandson’s pool was a few minutes ago. "I want to put out some herbs and onions. Maybe a few strawberry plants for Susie. You know how much she loves fresh strawberries." My mind is racing with ideas. "Potatoes and carrots would be nice for those hearty soups that you like so much during the winter. Oh! And perhaps parsnips, I’d almost forgotten parsnips!"
He tries to hide it, but I see it. Frustration. Aggravation. And then irritatingly, laughter. You know, the kind of laughter that hurts. Not quite hysterical, but bordering obnoxious. "You’re crazy."
I don’t get mad at this man of mine. I consider him a gift from God to me. I know what he is thinking, and while I don’t like it, I have to admit that it’s true. I’ve never been very good at maintaining a garden alone. I have always needed his help. A lot of his help.
"Don’t call me crazy, honey, I don’t like that. I want just a tiny little kitchen garden, is that too much to ask?" I rub his back as he washes his hands in the kitchen sink.
"Do you remember the garden spot you plowed up a few months ago? I just got that half acre leveled and grass planted back in there, and you want to plow up another spot? You’re crazy!" He tries to walk away from me so that I can’t hit him with the towel I have for him.