Oh here she is again, hat in hand, sheepish grin, more excuses for why it's a desert here, a parched, treeless, wordless, empty wasteland. And we're tired of hearing it. All those promises of mending ways, of discipline, of "write every day," even if its rubbish, if you keep writing down words they'll eventually sort themselves into coherence. Yawn.
No more excuses. A recent other social media experience sent me flying to the phone for damage control. I had tried to post pictures of a few quilt blocks and suddenly, unbidden, all my photos were laid bare for the entire world. Excuse me?
"What did you do mom?" my daughter chortled, "post naked selfies?"
I was not amused. Here I was, on the edge of a heart attack and she laughs? But she sorted it and once again air flowed smootly into my lungs and out again. Me and social media? Like giving matches to a toddler. The wise old woman in my head nodded sagely. Stick to Blogger," she said. So here I am.
I bought a house plant when we first moved in here fifteen years ago. It failed to thrive in the house, possibly due to my penchant for forgetting to water.... so I tossed it out among the trees and palmetto palms --- organic --- it could only help enrich our sandy soil, right?
Yesterday the jig was up. I headed out to the shade garden and started yanking. The OC came out to join me.
" See what I've done?" I announced triumphantly with a sweeping gesture towards the pile of uprooted ferns.
"Why'd you do that?" he queried querulously. He liked the ferns and their pushy ways, had notions of encouraging their plans for garden domination....
"They were choking the azaleas," I said. "And anyway, you can be sure of one thing. They'll be back. But now, for a while, the azaleas can breathe."
"Hmm," he said.
"Hmm, yourself," I thought and waded into the palmettos to tackle the next project ---beating back the passion vine that aims to do up in the trees what the Boston fern was doing below --- take over the world. We call this area our "shade garden" but what it really is is a clump of naturally growing Florida natives that was left untouched when the rest of the lot was cleared to build our house. It was the Bean's vision that saw what it could be. Over the years we cleared paths through it, plied it with mulch, trimmed the plants that lived there and introduced a few of more. An umbrella plant that the Bean added years ago is thriving there, cheek by jowl with native grasses, scrub oaks and palmetto palms. Maintaining it is more about controlling the abundance than coaxing it along.
Passion vine was an experiment. We planted it, just to see if it would grow, and when it did (with knobs on) I fell in love with its gorgeous blossoms.
Yesterday was Come to Jesus day for the passion vine. We hacked and chopped and pulled, yards and yards of it, down from the trees. Me Tarzan, you Jane! The sun filtered through, casting it's warming rays on the azaleas' backsides which had not felt such balm in years, covered as they were in britches of darkness by their swaggering mates.
Tarzan and Jane stood back to admire their handiwork. The ferns have been beaten into submission, the jungle has been tamed, the azaleas have room to wiggle their toes and the sun can reach the floor. No more beautiful passion vine blossoms for a while but no more choked trees either.
Bring it on Spring! We're ready!