My strawberry patch hit me with more mosquitos than weeds. Yes I saw more weeds than strawberry plants. Regardless I slaved on, hamstrings now vibrating from a full day’s worth of weeding and mulching. If a plant looks ugly, tastes nothing like food, or smells short of amazing, I usually yank. If I find plants that decide to kill one of my favorite plants, I definitely yank. Many weeds I pulled easily, not knowing what the hell their name was, but knew they needed to go. One weed, however, goes by a name I understand to be a cursed name, akin to profanity to my brain – Creeping Charlie. Damn that tangled stringy skunky weed, mimicking the very paths and colors of the strawberry runners. It sucks and slithers, hiding by mingling with the very precious joy the gardener struggles to protect. No matter how many handsfuls I strategically worked away from the strawberries, more and more revealed themselves. They taunted me. My body begged me to stop. Mosquitoes pecked at my cheeks, ears, and forehead. I was about to throw in the gloves and grab a beer when my youngest showed up and provided much needed relief.
Iggy Pup only digs when I say its OK, which I find fabulous and fascinating. And yes every time I laugh. Who doesn’t love watching a dog dig? He watched me only hours earlier pulling up all the spent beans, withered wombless tomato plants, and selfish greedy pumpkin vines. The eggplants gasping for freedom landed in my front deck, poubting. Purple and blue kale stood with pride in a new extra large pot behind the mini pumpkins alongside the eggplants new home. I then plucked tiny weeds of what existed as my mini jungle veggie garden all summer. The squares of dirt looked so naked I shivered. Holding my lower back with my hands and staring at the dark dirt medium I wondered if I should till before laying out the straw. That was when Iggy approached with the question of permission on his happy face.
By the time he dug up several feet of garden and I had filled another wheelbarrow full of weeds, dinner was ready. Iggy got his fourth bowl of food in a “smart toy” while my honey carved up the hickory-smoked, lemon-stuffed chicken and spooned a pile of purple rosemary potatoes on our plates. We earrned our dinner, ate with complete joy, and now struggle to lift these heavy eyelids. I think we earned sweet dreams too.
May your days find comic and phisical relief followed by soul-filling home-cooked food.