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Saturday, March 20, 2010

The evils of gambling (with seed)

In the Ozarks, snow is what happens while you make other plans. It is no respecter of months or supposed proprieties, not caring whether it's the first day of spring or labor day. It comes when it comes and the recipients get to adjust for it.


Despite the weather man's promise that--while those north and west of us were likely to get a fair amount of snow--we were only supposed to get rain, it is now snowing and sleeting here. There's an inch on the front porch and I've just learned that we should brace ourselves for more ice. Our mild winter advisory has switched to a winter storm warning. They are telling people stay off the roads and we're also under a flood warning (No, I'm not sure how that's supposed to work. I guess the two elements are taking turns out there).

I put my roses in the ground this week as well as irises, peas, potatoes, spinach, and lettuce. I'm a little nauseous at the thought of the potential loss, especially the roses. I've never had any luck with them, but thought I'd make the effort this year in part because Sam wanted to try them. My mother, who always has such beautiful roses, insists they are easy and all I've got to do is follow her simple formula for success and I too will have a garden of perfumed solar systems orbited by butterflies and bumble bees. I know better, really I do, but, like Charlie Brown and Lucy with the football, I cheerfully agreed to give it another shot. This time . . . THIS TIME . . . That and I built this huge-ish seriously ugly raised bed last summer with rock and mortar and it needs something to save it. It needs something pretty sensational to distract from the lumpy, dripping mortar and the oddly shaped rocks and roses will make it seem like I did it on purpose. As roses have that effect on the things around them, I went with the whim.

Gary has joked (in front of people) that he will never take me to Vegas because I would not be able to stop gambling until I was broke. He is referring to an isolated incident that involved a coin operated claw machine at a bus stop and a certain teddy bear. I had a system. That teddy bear would have been mine if he'd only given me the last five dollars I asked for.

I've told him that gardening is my revenge for that refusal, because--lets face it--gardening is gambling with seed and composted leaves and manure. You till the soil, say your prayers, plant the seed, and spin the wheel of hope. But instead of an unobtrusive little teddy bear (which I would have won), he's tripping over bags of potting soil, stepping around seedlings in little pots in front of the only good window we have in our bedroom and listening to me agonize over every loss. Never mind the money all the accouterments cost. (Presently, I have fruit trees in my closet and a small greenhouse still in its box in the middle of my bedroom floor waiting for the weather to break). I keep assuring him that THIS is the last piece of equipment I'll need for this project, but it never is. I don't think he believes me anymore. He just gives me a few more dollars and nods his head when I promise that it's the last thing.

So I'm sitting here while the wheel spins and hoping that the roses will hold up, that the peas and potatoes won't rot in the ground. And I know that even if all of it dies as a result, I'll be back out there on the first sunny day, planting more seed and trying again.

4 comments:

Mrs. C said...

Ooo, I hope the snow was brief enough there not to kill everything!

Scotty said...

Brrr, snow - reminds me of how our mornings are getting cooler and that Winter is almost upon us.

How's the gecko, btw - still guarding the garden?

:-)

Debby said...

YOU PLANTED ROSES????? So actually, Mary, this snow and ice is your fault. It's like waving a red flag in ma nature's face, like washing your car in the summer, or driving off and leaving your windows thrown wide open at home.

Mary Paddock said...

Mrs C--It looks like the worst of the cold weather kind of went around us (seriously like in a horseshoe).

Scotty-The gecko is doing well. He startled one of the boys the other night. They'd forgotten he was out there, trekked past the garden in pursuit of a dog, and jumped when they saw the lights out of the corner of their eye. I will post pictures of him once there's a green background to show him off against. Right now, he's keeping company some hibernating mums.

Debby--I did. I did plant roses. Hah-Hah!