Sunday, June 15, 2008

They're Odd, But They're Family

Well, this has been an interesting Father's Day weekend. I spent Saturday babysitting Skype, waiting for my youngest brother (he lives in Colorado) to install it and contact me. Then I spent the rest of the day waiting for two of my sisters to show up to drop off a load of stuff for me.

My sister Lydia has taken on my yard as a "project," I think, which I don't mind in the least. It's big (about an acre), and I can use all the help I can get. I've planted a few small gardens--I posted pictures of the herb garden she and I created--but I also have my vegetable garden, my camellia garden (flowers), the fence garden (an old piece of fence stuck in the yard for who-knows-what reason), and the front garden (the one where I dug up all of the spider lilies--and I still have those bulbs, if anyone's interested).

When her big red Suburban pulled into the driveway, I had no idea what lurked inside. Two plastic Adirondack chairs (for my birthday), two cedar poles (for the "secret garden" we're working on), several cedar planks left over from fencing her yard (for raised planters), some scrap lumber (I'll do something creative with it), a rack to hang my tools, a hose for the veg. garden (dedicated to that only), two hose hangers, a straight shovel (it's great), and a host of plants (some from the nursery, some from her housekeeper). I have ginger plants, coleus, wandering Jew, and those wonderful orange lilies--not tiger lilies--but the ones that spew out bloom after bloom on the same stalk, and three Esperanzas. I'm sure I'm leaving something out, but I think that gives you an idea. A gardener's Christmas in June! Too bad it's so hot. Working in the yard makes me sweat heavily.

Today, Sunday, I went to my parents' for Father's Day. Usually, these kinds of celebrations cause the house to bulge at the seams, but, today, my father was surrounded by women, most of us single. My brothers were fishing and celebrating with their own children. When I got to the house, my sister had more stuff she forgot to give me--hangers for whatever, and an Off mosquito lantern with refills! And my mom insisted I pull up the remaining edging from her front garden. I'd gotten about half of it when I helped her clean out one side of her front flowerbed. I'm recycling the edging for my front walkway garden. I'll take a picture when I finally get it all in place (I managed to get three more pieces in place today, but was so soaked in sweat, I couldn't finish the job--and that was at 7pm. The sun was behind the trees, but I was so hot I couldn't stand it).

When I talked to my mom on Saturday, she told me to bring the pictures of the chicken coops I was interested in building. So, today, she plotted out how I should build my chicken coop using the shed structure in my backyard. I was thinking about tearing it down, but she sketched out how I could use it to build my frame and chicken run. I had thought about that, but thought I should make a fresh start. She then regaled me with tales about the chickens her grandmother had. My mom's grandmother, Annie, had intended to keep the chickens for food--not eggs, meat. But Annie got rid of the chickens because my mom and her brother, Chris, wouldn't eat the chickens their grandmother killed. The chickens had become pets to them. I don't want to eat any chickens I get; I just want the eggs and the manure for the gardens, so no worries there. I don't mind buying chicken in the store, but I'm not about to start killing them.

When I left to come home, they were hunkered in the living room watching Tiger Woods play golf.


Mr. Smooth said...

What an interesting day!! It seems like gardening is the best thing to do. If someone would just tell me how fun it is, I just might do it. Now don't get me wrong, my hands stay dirty, but I think gardening is for women. You have to show me your secret garden, when you finish. I think it will look peacful.

dotsmom said...

Gardening is NOT just for women! Where do you think "farmers" come from? Sure, some are women, but most are men!

And it is fun. If you plant veggies, you also get to eat "the fruits of your labors."

K. Smith

saltnmw said...

Sent a note to your school email.