Sunday, September 5, 2010


Hey Ya'll,

I seem to be getting fewer and farther between with my posts. Know this, I still love my followers and my lurkers. There is no greater honor than that of people hanging on my every word. Even as a child, I yearned to be heard. Still do.

Today was gorgeous, Carolina style. I am a Tarheel, born, bred, and bachelored. My dad always said I could attend any university I chose, as long as it was THE University Of North Carolina AT Chapel Hill. I did attend there...although not graduating at the top of my class, I did graduate, which, come to find out, is all that matters. Today's sky was Carolina blue, the temps were deliriously pleasant, and I set out to straighten my garden mess.

Hot hot weather is not my friend. We did decide this year to make our under-used sand box into a real garden last April. It produced famously in the pickled cuke and squash categories, but sucked big time in the tomato department. I love tomatoes. I grew up eating tomatoes sprinkled with salt and pepper and naked otherwise. I eat them until my mouth burns. NO tomatoes grew. Like I said, we planted our first REAL garden this year. In previous years, since B and I became adults, I have nurtured the simplistic potted tomatoes on the patio. I enjoyed them. This year, I decide to have a real garden. An unpesticided garden. Organic, if you will. No tomatoes. To be truthful, we did harvest a dozen or two dozen from the soil. But, I planted six tomato plants. The infamous Brawley Hybrid, Better Boys, Pink Ladies, etc...Very disappointing.

I probably would have done better if I'd read the Farmer's Almanacs. But, I like to live with my brand of unpredictability. I've always hated necessary research. Farmer's granddad swore by this epistle. He underlined, folded, marked, followed the almanacs to such a degree that when he left his earthly home, we divied up his editions amongt the grandkids as cherished possessions. He had so many notes, some about gardening, but more about life itself, and death, that they became a sort of journal for him. My granddad, Papaw we called him, was many things, a great guy but also quite a character, and also, a farmer. As he got older, his daughters and their husbands help him to plant and harvest his crops. He grew strawberries, corn, okra, green beans, and of course, tomatoes that never failed. He also raised chickens, that we later ate. I guess that's where I learned responsibility for our consumption;)

Now that I think about my little successes and my multiple failures this summer in my garden, my greatest delight in my first REAL vegetable gardening attempts, is the closeness I felt to my Papaw while doing so. The joy I feel in the smell of dirt on a beautiful Carolina day comes directly from him. I've enjoyed many a day digging alongside my mother in the dirt. I guess she gets that from Roy too. He was the kind not easily replaced. Boy, I miss him.