Friday, January 23, 2009

It's Home Show weekend! Here's the link, in case you're wondering what all the hullabaloo is about. I set up our wares yesterday in such spectacular fashion, that all comers will surely find the stuff utterly irresistible! That is, if there are any comers. As well, there are only half has many exhibitors, in what is usually the best show of the year, so I guess it's a sign of the times. Also noticed that there are significantly fewer patio cover companies, for whatever reason. "Only the strong survive!" exclaimed Mrs. Ditchman. (Yay, capitalism.) Man, if we're 'the strong' then this country is in real trouble. The real question is, will the customers show? We'll see.

"This, too, shall pass," goes the age-old saying that makes the happy sad, and the sad happy. You don't hear that saying much in this country, and I imagine in the destitute Third World it would be every third billboard. It's a profound thought, and one best pondered in the garden, where one can see it actualized month after month, season after season. I pulled nearly everything out of the garden boxes last weekend, and it was a sad affair that went arm-in-arm with anticipatory hope. Last year's Tomatoes of Wonder are gone and now I'll turn the soil again, rotate in a new vegetable, and see what happens. It's Man's work, with God's help. Always exciting, always a chore, always in question, and never a bore.

This year I think I will educate myself a bit more on soil qualities. (Okay, I admit it can be a bore sometimes.) I used some new amendments last season to great affect, and it's high time I figured out why it happened that way. I was in Home Depot yesterday and the vendor from the veggie supplier was actually there stocking the racks. I stopped to gaze in awe at the vast potential and I think he saw the lusty gardener's glimmer in my eye and so he approached me. "Have any questions?" he asked politely. I just shook my head. Questions? Man, where do I start? "No thanks," I said. "Just checking it all out." I was planning on going with seeds this year, to save money.

So we've got a little rain here, just a mild-mannered shower that prompts the local authority to send out the We're-Still-In-A-Drought press releases. I'd like to see more rain, of course, but only when I'm not working. It's starting to warm a little, and the ground knows it. My asparagus is popping through and there are buds on the maple out back. And my daily morning exploration unveiled this:

A perfect little blue hyacinth. Planted those bulbs years ago and roundly forgot about them -as is the nature of bulb planting. Seems something is rousing down there, beneath the surface. It's a bright spot of color in the otherwise brownish yard. A tiny thing of beauty with a scent detectable at six paces, and one that sends your shovel ever forward, at that. But by the time those surrounding boxes are filled with flower and frenzy, this little hyacinth will be gone, brown and wilted, having fed its bulb for a time and then shrunk back into its floral hibernation until who-knows-when.

Have a great weekend. It's not as long as last week's and filled with work for some, but guess what? This too shall pass.