Proverbs 16:9 says “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” The Yiddish version is something like “Man plans and God laughs.” I wonder if God laughed when I thought today’s plans might include a little writing.
I knew I wouldn’t get anything done before lunch. I always begin the day with prayer and Bible reading, and since we started a ladies’ Bible study at church a few weeks ago, my study time has gotten longer. I thought I’d have time to do a little work in the garden before lunch, but by the time I sent a few e-mails that were overdue, it was time to hit the showers. That was okay. There would be time for gardening this afternoon with time left over to come up with a brilliant post and spend some time on my WIP (that’s work in progress for those not in “the business”).
I got a late start with my gardening last year, so I was determined to get a head start this year. In fact, I started in October by planting the garlic bulbs Dirk, a generous neighbor, gave me. All the bulbs came up, and they should be ready to harvest soon. I put in early onions that seem to be doing well, and some spinach and carrot seeds have come up. I jumped the gun with some bedding plants, and although my broccoli plants are thriving, I’ve lost two red cabbages and most of my lettuce. The jury’s still out on whether the potatoes will come up. I’ve got lots of other things to plant, and since I’m still working with hand tools, it’s a time consuming hobby.
But I’m excited about it, and all my friends who have gardened all their lives seem to get a kick out of the city girl getting her fingernails dirty. They’ve all become enablers of my new habit. I’ve been given lots of advice and two dried pods of okra seeds – a gift only a gardener would love. And now I’m getting flowers. Last Thursday we saw Dirk and his wife Pat working in the yard and stopped to chat.
“Hey, Linda,” he said, leaning in the car window. “Do you want some white irises?”
“Sure, if you’ve got some you’re getting rid of.”
So I left with a box of irises and a schedule to rearrange. When you buy bedding plants from a nursery, as long as you keep the plants damp and somewhat protected, you have a few days before you have to get them in the ground. Not so with a neighbor-to-neighbor transfer. After an hour jammed into a cardboard box, my irises were beginning to look a little distressed. The clumps of sandy soil were falling apart, leaving the rhizomes and roots exposed and the leaves were looking a little thirsty. Any attempt to add water would have resulted in a soggy mess, so I had no choice but to get them in the ground.
It was hard work. David was busy on the mower, so I had to do the whole job, from digging out the bed to watering in the new plants. I was so sore I could hardly move on Friday, but it was worth it. We will now have some white blooms to go along with the purple vinca I planted last year. And we solved a mystery. When David saw the irises, they looked familiar to him.
“I think we already have some of those.”
“Oh, really,” I said. “Where?”
“Several places around the yard. I’ve just been mowing them down.”
I guess that’s why they haven’t bloomed. One bunch has escaped the blade this spring. They’re in a circle around what used to be a tree. It could be the beginning of a nice bed if not for the unfortunate placement.
Back to today’s plans. At lunch on Friday, Dirk and I continued talking dirt for a while. He said he would have some other plants available as he trimmed up his yard, and I said I’d be glad to take anything he wasn’t going to use.
“Hey, Miss Linda,” he said today at lunch. “If you want those day lilies, you need to get them pretty soon. They’re the perfect size for transplanting.”
David and I have plans the next couple of days, and there’s rain in the forecast for the end of the week, so today seemed to be the day. I ended up with another box of fragile root systems to care for, and I still had some bare spots in my vegetable garden to re-seed. I’m not one of those Martha Stewart kind of gardeners who can finish a day of planting and weeding and watering and still look cute and dainty and spotless. At the end of my sessions, I look like I’ve been rolling in the dirt. I have hat hair, my face is red from the heat, and my gloves are as dirty on the inside as on the outside. By the time I finished today, I needed another shower, and we were both ready for dinner.
So now it’s dark outside, my flowers and veggies are bedded down for the night, and instead of an insightful, thought-provoking post, I’m publishing the first edition of Linda’s 2013 Almanac. I hope you enjoyed it as much as God did. He’s laughing.