Wednesday, May 24, 2006

All aboard!

This was my train of thought as it steamed out of control tonight...

I am my mother. My mother who inherited her love of gardening from her mother...and has passed it down to me. I remember her when I was growing up...hands always rough and discolored from the grass and mud she had been playing in. Thumbs and index fingers with hundreds of tiny cracks filled in with dirt, no matter how many times you wash your hands.

I am my grandmother. My crazy 80+ year old Polish grandmother who is in the hospital right now suffering from...old age. She's too old to do much these days, but I remember her, outside in her yard, wearing mismatched clothes, hair falling out of her bun and flying all around her head. She was always hunched over her flower bed, pulling weeds out at the at a time. Even if she was on her way somewhere else, not intending to do any weeding at that particular time, any offending weed was guaranteed to catch her eye and be immediately pulled out. She was always so careful to nurture and grow each individual plant. It almost seemed like she was in her own little world...nothing could distract her from pulling out those invading weeds from her little domain of flowers or vegetables. She's in the hospital now...with no garden to tend at all. I hope she's ok.

My Uncle Tom died. I didn't go to the funeral because it was just "too much" and I didn't want to stress myself during my pregnancy. HA! Fat lot of good it did me, huh? He was such a nice man. His hugs were always genuine. His laughter was always REAL. He always fell asleep after Christmas dinner...just for a short nap. He was better than Dad and cribbage (Dad will tell you just the opposite...nobody really knows who was telling the truth because nobody really understands cribbage like they do). When I was about 8 or 9, we went on a family vacation to Yellowstone National Park. We drove, caravan style, across the country. Uncle Tom wanted to see a bear. He talked about seeing a bear all the every stop...when would he see his bear. We saw just about every single type of wildlife, including moose, buffalo and antelope. No bears. After about a week, my grandparents left us and took an additional trip up to Alaska while we turned back home. They were reportedly about ten minutes away from us when they CBd (remember the days of the CB?) that they had, in fact, seen a bear. But Uncle Tom never did see a bear. We teased him about that for years.

Tonight, I went outside to check up on Samuel and make sure he wasn't causing his father any trouble in the yard. The flower garden caught my eye. Once I started, I couldn't stop. I was pulling and tearing the weeds and grass out of my flower garden. I looked down and realized I was wearing non-matching clothes...tearing at the weeds...and wondering about Uncle Tom. Where is he now? Does he know my boys? How do I get up the rest of these weeds? What do I put on my hands so they don't crack open and bleed? How much can a person take? How much is too much? My arms hurt. My back hurts. My legs are going to hurt tomorrow. I need more flowers for this garden. First I need to dig up some of this dang grass and get rid of it. I'm tired.

Oh yeah...and American Idol sucked...but I'm glad the winner won (won't spoil it for anyone on the west coast).

Yeah, this train of thought is a fun ride.


Kathy McC said...

Even though I am not a big fan of working outside, I DO find a lot of stress relief and peace from digging in my flower beds. The only problem is the cracking hands and the bad back.

Have you tried that horse hoof cream?? I forget what it's called, but they sell it at Wal-mart. It supposedly does wonders for sore cracked hands.

kate said...

I have some cream called 'Gocce de Natura' from Italy that my mom gave me. I suspect she got it at TJ Maxx, she gets everything there. I have been liberally applying it to the hands after every gardening exploit, and it seems to be preventing the cracked hands. If i see some more, i will get it for you.

We all end up like our grandmothers eventually, i think. In your case it sounds like this is not a bad thing...i hope she is doing ok too.