Next Week

Armadillidium vulgare in the rolled-up defensi...

Armadillidium vulgare in the rolled-up defensive posture characteristic of pill bugs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

March 9, 2013

Yesterday, we had sunshine and a temperature of fifty-eight, but the south wind – up around twenty-five mph – made it a chilly fifty-eight if you were out in it for very long.  I wasn’t.  That’s a little too windy for me to get much done, with my bad balance.  We’re expecting rain, though not very much, tonight and tomorrow.  Next week promises to be better.  Several consecutive days of sunshine and temperatures in the mid to high sixties bode well for giving the garden a thorough check and picking up the growing amount of trash that embedded itself in the leaves scattered across the lawn over the winter.

I like this time of year around here.  With the jonquils blooming, the crocus pushing up through the soil and the grass greening in small patches, it’s a time of promise before the realities of planting time set in; the little stretch of time, as winter ends and spring hasn’t quite begun, when you can still dream and imagine without the dirty-hands doing of actual work; a time that, the older I get, the more I appreciate.

Still, I suspect I’ll find something to dig around in.  It might be a good time to work some of those partially digested leaves into the soil around the grape vines or turn over the soil around the front porch where I’m thinking of planting a bed of wild flowers and baby’s breath.  The rhubarb plant disappeared last fall – whether from the heat or the dogs digging I don’t know, since it sits outside the garden fence.  Next week might be a good time to see if anything is working its way back up through the soil, there, or whether I need to replace the plant when I buy the manure for the garden.

All of these things could probably wait another week, maybe even two.  Truth is, I want to get outside for a while, dig in the dirt, smell the soil, taste the air, watch for worms, poke at some pill bugs.  Mostly, though, I want to prove to myself that I didn’t get old and lazy over the winter and I’m good to go for the coming gardening season.

And that’s another thing I like about this time of year.  I can start slow, work my way up to the hard stuff, give those digging and hoeing muscles a little workout before things get serious.

But what I most like this time of year are the surprises.  The carpet of hen bit, that first year I  went out to garden.  The creeping Charlie that spread in its wake a couple of years later.  The riot of plants that popped up on the north side of the house the spring after we took down the old elm tree and let the sun in.  The lush growth of pokeweed the birds planted there, fall before last, after the dogs chased them out of their back yard.  I can’t wait to see what happens this year.  I guess I’ll find out, next week.

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8 Responses to Next Week

  1. witsendnj says:

    It was a gorgeous day here. I decided to resurrect the garden (by which I mean not just the square vegetable garden out back but all the beds around the house) which I didn’t even LOOK at last summer. So I spent the day clearing out all the dead weeds on the patios and walks. It was surprisingly much easier than I expected, and so good to be outside grubbing around, clipping, raking, and sweeping.

    How nice to come inside, achey and scratched, to sit down and read this post – much of which is exactly what I had been thinking all afternoon.

    Thanks, Conflicted!!

    • theozarker says:

      Hey witsend, can’t wait to do some of that, too. I take it, you are not in the parts of the NE that are getting all the snow?

      • witsendnj says:

        New Jersey…we had snow overnight, but by yesterday afternoon it all melted. Right now, it’s 59 degrees, bright blue sunny sky. I think I’m sunburned!

        My parents live on the Cape though, and they said all the beaches are closed because the parking lots have been undermined.

      • theozarker says:

        Yes, what little snow we’ve gotten this winter has melted as soon as the temps got above freezing or the sun came out. I saw some of the damage to the shorelines on the news last night. Looked pretty brutal.

  2. Nadia says:

    I adore your posts. I feel like I’m there with you in your garden and thoughts….. thanks so much!

    Here in Minnesota, we added 8+ inches of snow to a 5 inch base so it has been lots of inches in addition to the current snow pack base. My dogs who are with me are unsure what to do about “their business” in the mornings – as they are unused to life outside of Missouri. In fact, Lilly, my baby dachshund is endlessly fascinated by all the people, cars, planes, etc that were absent in her isolated farm of birth way in the Gerald woods of rural Missouri., She poses, still, and watches carefully all of the new with fascination.

    My mother is so precious but life is precarious in the nursing home and the urgency of response is lacking on the part of the staff – a sign of the difference between the health care I supervised in the 80’s and the healthcare in action today. She has fallen again and I fear that my mother is in her last days. It is painfully clear that things have changed for the common citizen of the USA. I am weighing the decision of caring for her myself or worrying endlessly about what “might happen” overnight. At 86, she is experiencing mid stage 1 dementia and I’m always uncertain of her responses to ordinary needs. one day totally lucid and another, lost. Alone, she may or may not make the correct decision to press her “help” button at her bed. She has now fallen again because of lengthy response times to her button by nursing aide staff. Truly sad. I want to just take her in my arms and flee the place and take care of her myself. To do so, however, I renounce all of her medicaid assistance….. I’m torn and uncertain of my own ability to manage her life joy.

    I find myself wishing for the times of the past where it was only expected that the family would embrace and include their ailing parents within the home. Our world has gone astray. I am on the cusp of making a decision.

    Please enjoy the bracing Missouri spring air for me. The farm waits, thank goodness, for an eventual return. Thanks for making me feel like I’m there. Bless you all.

    • theozarker says:

      Hi Nadia. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom’s fall and her dementia. We went through similar experiences with my mom in her last years. I know how hard that decision is to make and I do and will keep you both in my thoughts.

      I’m glad the blog provides you with a little reminder of home. Pat Lilly on the head for me. We had a dachshund when I was a kid. He loved the snow. Would plunge off the side of the porch into the biggest drift he could find, then bounce from drift to drift across the yard as if he were on a pogo stick. I can still see him in my mind’s eye.

      Much love to you and your mom.

  3. Nadia says:

    LOL. Thanks! Lilly does, indeed bounce around like a pogo stick with tongue hanging sideways!

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