Spring in Chicago comes about June 1 if we’re lucky. A few days before, say between May 15 and 31, I stick six tomato plants in the ground and poke a few sunflower seeds into the soil. Every year I try a different vegetable. Last year, it was spaghetti squash and acorn squash. This year, it’s kale. Don’t ask me why kale; I think it was because I heard it was easy. I also think the rabbits and squirrels might go for the kale over my tomatoes. And nothing is more satisfying than outwitting rabbits and squirrels.
I plant. And then I wait. I am an impatient person. For verification on that, ask my colleagues and husband. If I send you an email, and you don’t respond within an hour or two, I firmly believe you are ignoring me. I won’t bug you about it, but I might sulk a little.
So waiting for tomatoes to come to fruit and sunflowers to rise to their towering 12-foot height is problematic for me. But every summer, I create the same issue for myself. Every summer I plant, and every summer I live in hope those plants will honor me (and my friends who also like eating my tomatoes, even when they are green).
Lounge, bask, relax
In the mornings, as I walk through my backyard to my garage, I survey the garden’s progress. I stand and Iook and calculate when I might be able to eat a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.
I find it interesting how weeds can manage rapid growth while sunflowers and tomatoes lounge and bask and relax, taking all the time they need.
I should also try to relax as I wait. Last year, I plucked the spaghetti and acorn squash from their vines far before they were ready. They looked fine, but they tasted like basketballs. Lounging, basking and relaxing has its advantages. I should try it, maybe by sitting on my deck with a cold beverage, while looking up kale recipes.
What do you do to lounge, bask and relax during the summer months?
Terri Lackey is the director for communication for Women of the ELCA. This Throwback Thursday blog was first published in July 2013 when Terri lived in a home in a suburb of Chicago. She now lives in a condo and buys her tomatoes at Whole Foods or a farmer’s market for exorbitant prices. Feature photo is of Terri in her small backyard garden.