I am prone to hyperbole when I write. I am trying to tone it down; forgive me when I say that Sunday was one of the best days ever. It’s hard to describe. It’s my crazy bifurcated existence, with my work and my residence in New Hampshire and my heart in Maine. When I’m on such a whirlwind, I take pictures so I can remember.
I made a plan to meet my friend, Julie, at a 7:30 a.m. church service in a little town 7 or so miles north of Lisbon Falls. I roared up Interstate 95 and arrived only a few minutes late. I’m going to write some stories about my friend. She’s my “slipper sister” because we met at Supreme Slipper in Lewiston, Maine. In the twilight of the industrial age, they made slippers right here in the United States and it was respectable work. This work helped pay for my college education and over the course of three summers, I made a lot of slippers. I’m going to write some stories about Supreme Slipper, but not today.
After church, we went to Uncle Moe’s Diner for some breakfast. Julie has so many interesting things to say and she’s like a big sister to me. She gives me advice, except I don’t realize it’s advice because she will just tell me stories from her own life. This week, she told me a story about the “lost dandelion phase” of her life and how she met Helen Nearing. I jotted a few notes on the restaurant place mat; I collected a few more stories to write, but not today.
After breakfast, I zoomed down “The Ridge” or Route 9 to Lisbon Falls and picked up a few things at Aubuchon Hardware. I made a pit stop at my parent’s house and then raced up to my Surprise Garden. I dug out some sea grass that had overtaken a corner and planted an Autumn Joy I was transplanting from my Hampton Victory Garden spot. I haven’t had very good luck with Autumn Joy in that spot, but I believe in second chances. Then I zoomed halfway back up The Ridge to find some annuals to fill an empty section of the Surprise Garden. I made a new friend at a landscape company and sure, there’s another story to write, but not today.
After lunch, I headed over to The Gazebo across from the high school. I have volunteered to help my friend Faye take care of this garden and she gave me my own edging tool. She said “edge around The Gazebo, just make it look pretty.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I didn’t know a thing about edging, so I did the best I could and weeded the heck out of the garden. It did look pretty when I left, but only because Faye has lovingly created and maintained this garden for so long. A woman stopped by and asked if I was the new “Green Thumb Lady” taking Faye’s place. I replied with a hearty “BLEEP no” and introduced myself. Lo and behold, she said “I was one of Uncle Bob’s girlfriends,” and there is surely another story to write about that sentence, but not today.
Somewhere, squeezed into the space of the afternoon, I went over to The Farm and planted a trumpet vine along the fence. I also transplanted another Autumn Joy near my daffodils. This little project would be the definition of “Tiny Steps Gardening.” It started with ten daffodil bulbs about ten years ago. But that’s another story for another day. Not today.
I managed to shovel a sandwich down at around 5:00 p.m. and then a visit with Uncle Bob. My mother told me he liked “the pineapple” I’ve placed in my garden, but he didn’t say anything to me personally.
My sunflowers were popping up, there was more rhubarb to pick, and the peas are glorious. If you can believe it, Uncle Bob said “we should plant TWO rows next year.” Oh Uncle Bob…you are one big story for another day.
After my ritual visit to The Dairy Maid, I headed back out to The Farm to finish work on my “little” project. It was so beautiful with the shadows falling over what I’ve learned some people call “Baumer’s Field.” Why didn’t I ever know that?
Uncle Bob takes good care of this field and as I walked along the path he mows to the barn, I did not wipe a little tear from the corner of my eye. No, I cried a whole river of tears for the love I have for this piece of God’s creation that has been given to my family for all this time. I dreamed a little dream about growing something bigger than a trumpet vine and an Autumn Joy, but I’ve got to start somewhere.
The ride back to New Hampshire was bittersweet; I was tired and I cried a little bit on the way home. Close to midnight, I arrived at The Coop and entertained the prospect of the week. I’m not sure how long a person can live with such a divided heart and THAT is another story for another day.
Actually, that’s the story of this blog.