I spent my afternoon off weeding my husband’s gardens while he was at work. I think that means I no longer need to purchase him an anniversary present this year. I also drank his beer while I did it, which falls under the “spoils of war” category, I believe, or possibly, “while the cat’s away…”

For various reasons, the end of summer got away from him and his gardens ran amok, took on a sort of mad ferociousness. It looks like a radioactive experiment gone awry out there–any second a giant garden toad is going to thunder out of the depths and terrorize the neighborhood. We have kale plants that come up to my waist and as much as I love green smoothies, I can’t imagine that I will ever find a use for it all.

You need to understand that this is a particularly laudable and unselfish action on my part. I hate gardening. No. More than that. I loathe it. I loathe the feel of dirt. I loathe the jolt when a particularly creepy crawly thing makes it presence known. I absolutely hate reaching my hand into a deeply overgrown area. (What’s in there? Frog? Snake? Displaced raccoon bent on revenge?) I’m also not fond of sun, heat, sweating, or the feel of gardening gloves.

When I was younger, the slightest summertime infraction would get me sent out to the garden to weed. Horrors! We lived in the country, surrounded by pine forest which, in the summer, meant aggressive deer flies absolutely committed to sucking you dry, usually by burrowing through your hair to your scalp. I can still feel the crunch from pinching the life from them and then sliding them down my hair before tossing them to the ground. Gross. Plus, the dirt was really, really sandy and really, really full of slugs. I have to give my mom kudos, I’m not sure how she got anything to grow there—especially considering the incompetent and sullen help she had to work with.

I’d like to think that my technique has improved a little bit over the decades. That I remember to pull the weeds out from the roots and not just hack, resentfully, at the stuff visible above the ground.

Like I said, I’d like to think that.

Still it was better than nothing. Although, dangerous, nonetheless. See, there I was, weeding the rose bed when I started pulling out….carrots?

“How odd,” I thought. “These plants sure do migrate.” But then I stopped and reconsidered. Because I am married to exactly the type of man who would plant roses and carrots together on the grounds that, “the sun is better over there.”

This is why any foray into the garden is dangerous for me. Before long I am exasperatedly demanding that he stop planting the broccoli and the zinnias together and -BAM!- I’m back to having the garden be my job. Which would be terrible. My garden would be so much worse. And by that I mean it would be lawn.

So happy extra-early anniversary, darlin’. You keep planting your wacky Mad Hatter gardens if that’s what makes you happy. I picked those carrots for you. And if you find that you are out of beer, it wasn’t me. I think the giant garden toad drank them.

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The Rise & Fall of a Momocracy

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