It seemed to be taking me forever to get out the door. No sooner would I make a step in that direction when one child or another would come back through it to ask for something, a glove, a drink, a hat. . . I began to put on face cream which made me think of sunscreen. I realized they would need some too, so I began to snag them one by one to rub on the potion. As I am stepping through the doorway my youngest comes up the steps smiling, "Hi Mommy. Daddy says it's really nice out, you should come outside." I contain my eyeroll by closing my eyes for a short moment, and tell her, "I am coming out right now honey, I have some things to do in the garden."
I headed to the tiny greenhouse just a short distance from the house. The sun is shining and air is clear, just a bit of a breeze momentarily cut off as I duck in and grab a couple plant trays, hot in here. Across the yard, I go to a low area which seems to collect just enough moisture so I rarely have to water the garden there. The lettuce I began a few weeks ago is just beginning to look good, but still too small to be eaten even in "baby" form. I direct my attention to plucking a few rogue weeds that escaped my last garden adventure. I dig into the warm, damp soil with my fingers reaching for roots to pull and flick them into one of my signature piles along the edge of the garden. Once clear, I smooth the surface with a rake and then dig several small holes. First I plant the peppers, then the eggplants, it is hotter in the hoophouse and I hope that will help these heat lovers thrive. I think to myself, it would be nice to have another for the tomatos, but then I would have to water, a lot. Not a good plan. Before I know it I have planted about 20 tomato plants, and I am ready to begin work in another section of garden, pluck, rake, dig holes, plant. Here go more tomatos, along with some cukes and zukes.
I stand and stretch my back and legs and walk back to the house for some seeds. I am never satisfied with my organization of seed packets. No matter how I do it, I always end up spending countless minutes searching for a packet I "just had my hands on". I headed back outside with a handful of paper envelopes, nasturtium, carrots, lettuce, spinach, beans. I gave up looking for the beet seeds, which I know are there, and decide that what I already have planted is enough for now. Again I pluck, rake, and this time swish little rows with the handle of the rake to they will come out relatively straight. I sprinkle in carrot seeds, and a couple different varieties of lettuce, alternating throughout the bed, and look up to see my kids riding down the driveway on their bikes, the boys bikes are tethered together by a rope about 10 feet long. Do I say anything, nah! They are boys. I continue on to planting beans, whoops pluck, rake, swish, first. Along the kids come again, now Lila's three wheeler is attatched like a little caboose behind the two boys and their bikes.
Suddenly though the sun was still shining, raindrops began to fall in such a way that felt surreal. They were falling in enormous droplets and spread out so that it seemed I might be able to walk between the drops without being touched if I were quite careful. But I couldn't dodge the argument that would soon begin between siblings. Ropes were untied, grumblings echoed, clouds of blackflies appeared out of nowhere and garden time came to an imperfect, but well timed end as I had accomplished all I had set out to do, and the black flies hadn't even noticed.