Sunday, May 28, 2006


God bless my wife. She's full of ideas and enthusiasm, and it's amazing just how often she knows exactly what I need. Like today.

We'd managed to make it to church, which was good and needed. The first two Sundays this month I was moping around contemplating my incision and didn't feel like leaving the house much, and last Sunday we were on vacation. We found out earlier this month that our pastor is going to another congregation, and I've been coming to terms with how badly I've taken him (and his wife, also a minister) for granted. Our church is wonderful, and I can't say enough about how much comfort I've gained from it over the years. I've been struggling over the past year to attend services more often. Anyway, Rev. Lynn was doing the children's time during the service, and I was looking at all of the young people standing up there, and I was nearly overwhelmed with the awareness of the passage of time. Seeing 15 year olds standing up there while simultaneously having such clear memories of those kids as toddlers was too much. We spent some time talking afterward, and then came home.

I was busy poking around the house, doing laundry, trying to reconnect to everything here after coming home. I've been away from work for nearly a month, and I have a doctor's appointment Wednesday, when he'll clear me to return to full duty. I've been thinking about that a lot, and most of it's not good. After 17 + years of police work, as B.B. King might say, the thrill is gone. I wouldn't say I was bummed out this afternoon, just a little out of sorts.

Miz Bubs, girl genius, went out and ran some errands. She came home with plants (tomato and rosemary) soil amendments (manure, pearlite and peat) and recycled wood to build a frame for a 4x4 garden bed. We'd been talking about it before vacation, but I was fuzzy about the actual when and where. I got off my ass and went outside, and helped put the frame together. Then I worked the amendments into the soil (she still won't let me lift the manure bags or use the wheelbarrow) and helped plant the tomatoes. We planted lettuce seed also. Then we went and weeded the herb garden, and planted the rosemary, along with parsley and basil seeds. We already have chive, garlic chive, mint and sage. Finally, we transplanted some wild geranium. My final bit of gardening was cutting some fresh mint for mint juleps. Miz Bubs, lady dynamo, stayed out in the yard working on the pond and breaking rocks with a sledgehammer. I think she also killed a badger while I cooked dinner.

Back in the early to mid 1990's we had an amazing vegetable garden. It took up a 12x30 foot area in our backyard, and was fenced with chicken wire and posts, with a wonderful gate. We had a triple compost bin made of old wooden grocery pallets. I mention this because, we stopped gardening in 1998--the last time we visited my cousins in Florida. We returned home from vacation that year, and the garden was overgrown, and we just never got it back in shape. I spent what was, for me, a crazy amount of time on the job back then--there was one stretch where I went a little over three months with only 9 days off. Looking back, those were the most hectic and probably least happy years in my adult life.

Now, 8 years later, after returning from a vacation to Florida, we're planting a new garden. We've gone back to using the methods advocated by Mel Bartholomew; Square Foot Gardening is simple, efficient and organic, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out this summer. Gardening makes you feel connected, it puts you in touch instead of making you feel like you're watching time pass, apart from all the changes you see. It feels really, really good. And it's all thanks to my wife.

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