A week ago yesterday, I finally started doing some gardening. It was the first day in a long time that I had anything approaching enough time to get a chunk of it done. Kate was not well, and so she and I stayed home from church. Bruce and I had started our day early by going to the public market and buying celebratory egg sandwiches (*clink* — our 29th anniversary as well as Mothers’ Day), as well as several plants for the planters and border beds. And I had seedlings in the kitchen (basil and sunflowers, tomatoes and zucchini) as well as a box of strawberry plants in the garage long overdue for planting.
So, while Bruce went to church to sing in the choir, I went outside to Get. Things. Done. I had until evening and dinnertime (we had reservations at a favorite pizza place) to accomplish as much of it as possible, and I worked not unlike a mad woman.
I should have tied back my hair. I did not. I should have had a better supply of tissues. I had none. I should have quit at the first sign of trouble. I could not. And I should probably have worn gardening gloves. Oops.
My allergies to certain tree pollens is fairly severe, and the air was full of whichever the worst of those are last Sunday. The sneezing started shortly after I finished potting the four geraniums and planting all the lobelia, and before I began trimming the dangerously overgrown euonymus. By the time I had finished weeding the south side bed and had planted half the sunflower seedlings, my nose was running freely, my hands were caked with mud, and my face streaked with dirt. I think I may have started crying when I planted the basil seedlings. I know there was at least one generous deposit of snot in my hair when I put in the strawberries.
I took two showers. One was more of a decontamination effort than cleansing, and the second was an attempt to sooth my already aching muscles. I remained miserable for most of the evening and was stiff and sore for about three days after and my hands are still rough from the work, but… I got a good portion of it done! The tomatoes and zucchini seedlings waited another six days to go in, and I finally sowed seeds for black beans, sugar snap peas, broccoli, carrots, beets and lettuces — most of which could have gone in two or three weeks ago — this Saturday just past. It is a pleasure growing food. A joy even. But damn, it’s hard, hard work!