One of the things I remember most about becoming a mom was the slow-dawning realization of what a good job my own mom did. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but there has rarely been a stage that I’ve gone through with my kids and not looked back on my own growing up years and wished I could be as supportive and unconditional as my own mom.
Yes, well, there was that time we were driving her crazy when my dad was out of town that she told us that he wasn’t our “real” dad — which quite upset my brother at the time. While my mom will never forgive herself, I still think of it as one of the funniest things she has over done. Anyway: if that single misstep is considered bad parenting, then Morgan and Charlie are going to have a whole lot of ammo on me. I am only coming to realize now, after the damage has been done, that children don’t necessarily thrive on a steady diet of sarcasm.
Would I go back and do it over you ask?
No. I’m just making a point.
Why this recollective intro to a post on Spring Gardening you ask?
Because in just the past year or two, spring gardening has become a fast-track lesson in aging —and I’m only 50! Again, I think of my mom and dad. They are living up in Hayward, doing the yard, chain-sawing trees, hauling branches, transplanting shrubs, cleaning the boat. You know, just doing the day in, day out kind of stuff, and again, I find myself wondering: how the hell do they do it? They’ve got a quarter of a century on me and I feel like I might not make it until tomorrow. Glycosamine be damned. That stuff doesn’t do anything.
the weekend Saturday in the garden. (I just remembered that it rained all Sunday.) And I can barely walk or raise my arms above my head. My first task was to split the Rhubarb. I meant to do it when the shoots were just starting to come up, but I forgot all about it until I pulled out my notes from last year and saw, written at the top: REMEMBER TO SPLIT RHUBARB IN EARLY APRIL.
I missed that boat, so I just did it anyway and am hoping for the best.
Of course I Googled it. Online it says “Splitting Rhubarb couldn’t be easier.”
I quickly got my heart rate up to anaerobic levels and kept it there for the duration of the digging. I have an Apple watch and have been confounded trying to meet my Move goal. The Stand goal is easy; you just have to stand up and walk around once every hour. Exercise is easy, as long as you remember to “start” it before a walk, run or bike ride. But Move? I can’t seem to hit it even when I walk 20,000 steps in a day.
I hit the elusive Move goal by 10am on Saturday digging that damned Rhubarb. Not sure what the metric is — pulse? stroke? — I’m simply pointing it out because it was a big deal in my small world.
The first Rhubarb plant (I have 2) I diligently dug all the way out and split and replanted after amending the soil.
The second plant, nearing complete exhaustion, I got lazy and just hacked off about half of the plant and left the rest in the ground. To make myself feel better, I’ve rationalized this action by considering it my Rhubarb Control Experiment.
The good news is, I’ve got lots of Rhubarb plants to give away if you live near me.
In other garden news we had our first harvest of Asparagus on Sunday. I spread compost and planted peas, lettuce, arugula, potatoes and onions. I didn’t get to the spinach, carrots or beets yet but hope to do that in-between the downpours this week. And just because I condensed that into a single sentence should not detract from the awfulness of bending, kneeling, sitting and standing back up that is required. Seriously — these grannies that they show on rolling carts in the garden catalogs? Sign me up. I am not ashamed.
Who else out there is gardening. Share your stories man. I want to hear them.