Last night I went to a class on planning a garden – it was taught by a couple of Master Gardener’s from the extension office. I had skipped Hooker’s Night out (more about Hooker’s Night Out later) and convinced a friend to go with me. I expected a small group of people – but was instead surprised by about 20 people all of varying garden backgrounds.
Let me tell you about my garden background – My dad always had a HUGE garden and as a kid – I had a love/hate relationship with that garden. I’ve always loved the feel of dirt between my toes, the smell of tomato plants, and the taste of vegetables and fruit right from the garden with the dirt just brushed off (tomatoes and strawberries being my favorite) but I hated some of the chores that came with a garden – weeding, snapping the HUGE buckets of beans. For the first 9 years of living up here I was an apartment dweller – but I missed that garden. I dreamed about growing my own garden and tried tomato plants in pots but only had limited success. When the time for harvest would arrive a well timed trip to my parents was always in order so I could bring home a bounty of vegetables from their garden. When I found my husband one of the first things I convinced him to do was tear up a corner of his legal envelope sized yard and put in a garden. My dad even brough up his tiller to help. In fact before we were married we looked at buying a new house and my main criteria was the size of the yard – Steve dreamed of housing developments and a one story house and all I could see was tiny yards with no space for a garden. In the end God led us to stay in the house he had (if he hadn’t I don’t think our beautiful son would be here b/c IVF would have been out of the realm of possibility) and gradually the size of my garden has grown to about 6 feet by 10 feet. Each year I would convince Steve to till up just a little more space – although now that he has finally built my little picket fence around it my gradual expansion has come to an end. So as I listened to the Master Gardeners talk about starting small 10x 10 and how important it was to space your rows and plan what you would plant – I was immersed in memories of my dad – who certainly didn’t garden small and usually didn’t space his rows the recommended distance apart – or draw out a plan beforehand. This year I might draw out a plan – but I probably won’t space my rows the right distance apart – that’s nearly impossible when your garden is the size of a postage stamp. But I will take the time to enjoy the feel of dirt between my toes and to begin teaching my little boy the love my dad taught me. And as he grows I will tell him about his Grandpa’s crazy big gardens and his love of the outdoors.
I better explain Hooker’s Night Out before you all get the wrong idea. Hooker’s Night Out is my new addiction – no it’s not illegal. Once a week a group of about 7 of us meet at the local coffee shop with our crocheting. We’re at a variety of levels – in fact that’s what caused the formation of the group – two of us wanted to learn to crochet. We sit around on the couches and talk and crochet for an hour or two every Wednesday. It’s a lot like the “Friday Night Knitting Club” books. It’s a time to be with other women – away from home, children, and hubbies and just be together. We talk about everything from work to home. I used to have that in a book group at church but then the associate minister and his wife went to Africa to be missionaries and the small group disbanded. (Yes I know I could start a book group for women – but right now I’m leading our couple’s group – which is a stretch for me and I’m just not ready to add anything else.) So I will continue to get my fill of mommy/ wife free time at Hooker’s Night Out. (Steve doesn’t even mind being daddy mom while I go be with the girls. I have a wonderful hubby if I haven’t mentioned that lately) So far I’ve finished a scarf and am now making my very first afghan – at least it’s productive girl time!