I live for spring. Ask any of my winter loving friends. They’re boo-hooing the end of powder while I’m hosing down any remnant piles in the yard. I cherish those early warm days, and count the moments until I can plant everything I’ve babied in the house since mid-February.
But this year I didn’t plant as early as I normally do because it was so dry, and while I love fussing in the garden, I’m not so keen on dragging hoses in April. I figured I’d have time. Boy, was I wrong.
A couple of weeks ago my stomach hurt. It was annoying, but I thought it would pass. Then it really hurt. As in, “please don’t make me button my pants or move,” kind of hurt. I was in a whole lot of pain, but we spent the day visiting friends we haven’t seen for years that day, all the while I kept hoping it would resolve. By the next morning, when the pain still hadn’t subsided, I toddled over to the ER. The following day the surgeon removed with about a foot of my small bowel leaving me with an enormous incision. Talk about putting a damper on planting season.
I went from biding my sweet time to panic mode. When I came home from the hospital, the weeds had grown exponentially after days of wonderful rain, and everything in the greenhouse screamed to be in the ground. I had to rely on others to accomplish what I love to do.
The sweet potatoes arrived while I was gone, and my husband wrapped the slips in wet paper towels. But after several days in stasis, they had to go outside. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t even exactly sure where I wanted to put them since normally I wander about the garden until I pick a spot (I’m not one to make garden plans because they never work out for me). Since sweet potatoes thrive in warm conditions, I decided we’d try a few in the coldframe, more of them in the greenhouse, and the remaining four in “the wild” of the boys’ gardens and hugelkultur bed. Grant dug the 4-inch deep holes, and planted as I directed. Oh, was that hard. It’s not that he’s incapable; it’s just I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. It’s second nature so it’s hard to watch without critiquing.
Now I’m recruiting the boys into lending a hand. They’re actually good little workers, and thankfully I have Cobraheads (my all-time favorite garden tool) for each of them so they’re evening matched. Yesterday we planted watermelon and cucumbers in each of their gardens, as well as jalapeno peppers and celery in another bed. We also pulled a few weeds, but I had to call it good for the day when my incision started bleeding a little bit. I guess that’s a hint, huh?
More than anything, this planting season will be remembered as a time for patience: Patience with my body for not being dependable, and patience for anyone who helps me. I know I’m a control freak, and while it’s not rocket science to plant, it can make me twitch watching others do it. But, most of all, allowing my body to heal when it needs to work is going to be the most difficult lesson of all. I’m not sure how I’ll do in this endeavor, but I’ll just have to give it my best shot.