Just when you think you’ve got it bad.
So I spent the bulk of yesterday cleaning, repotting the perennials into cocoa fiber pots (which is going to make transplanting them into the new garden much easier as they’ll just compost themselves into the soil), and getting ready for a date…who texted me an hour before hand to tell me he had to leave town for work, and an hour after that to tell me (actually his friend Mal, whomever Mal is) that it’s great to be sitting with his feet up and beer in hand (incidentally, when did people loose the courage to say that they aren’t interested?) followed by “whoops, sent that to the wrong person” (right).
There are days when I write this blog that I wish I could be as a work of fiction, rather than one of reality. Unfortunately, I went for brutal reality, seeds, stand ups, and all.
Today I get a letter from Pelican Narrows. My friend Michael lives and works up there in retail, which up north means the Hudson Bay Company. Now I will grant you that after spending last night hiding in my bed playing candy crush, getting this letter puts things into perspective quite a bit. Michael hermits as well, but more because of his remote location than anything else. He is the gay community, the only gay in the village. And he may correct me on that one as well! He has the same issues I have with lgbt community, and dating, with one difference. I’m surrounded by them. He isn’t. I’m liking the actual letter writing we’re doing, and the letter I got really put my feet back on the ground again where they need to be. He’s having the same problems I am. That’s something at least.
I’m not sure who’s luckier!
Yesterday the first robins flew in. I heard them before I saw them, and then the pelicans started circling around the east part of Wascana Lake. It’s only going to be a matter of time now before I hear cranes returning on their journey north. The snow geese flew over yesterday. That was pretty amazing to be out at night, stars glowing somewhat glistening off-centerer by the mist in the air and then suddenly a low-flying flock of snow-white geese with that characteristic call, not unlike a Canadian goose but not as long, more “victorian granny” in nature (and yes, that’s a strange description I know but if you’ve heard snow geese you’ll understand).
Right now is the worst time for gardeners because the soil up top is still saturated, and the soil underneath (gumbo) is still frozen solid. You get the illusion that you’ll be able to plant by putting in the shovel only to realize that once you hit that clay, it’s over. Raised beds methinks. If I’m going to cottage garden it’s going to take some patience and resilience.
Neighbour behind us moved out, which in itself isn’t interesting. What is interesting, however, is that the managers of the complex offered to significantly decrease his rent for him to stay. Things are strange around here. They fight to keep people while increasing the rents beyond what’s affordable, and yet three guys stand by a sump pump watching it slowly drain a puddle. And we’re paying their wages. Nothing says government like Boardwalk Rental Communities. I swear they could’ve been a caricature for city employees.
I did want to talk more about the first day of digging, a few weeks ago. Dave Ledeaux in his podcast here often talks about Canadian gardeners on the first warm day heading out at ridiculously early times to start digging. This year I got to prove that.
What I found somewhat strange was that as I dug in the garden to try and get a hole big enough to put my gas plant in, I found that I was digging up what looked like onions, then my brain went to how they could be crocuses or daffodils. I didn’t know what they were because I hadn’t been there when they went in. I suddenly found myself overcome with the realization that I was in someone else’s yard. This wasn’t my garden! I mean, it will be my garden but it didn’t feel like it. It was like Baba’s yard was vandalized, and I was the vandal! I took a look around and realized that the flower beds I had planned to put in were already there, under the snow, and there were/are perennials there. The old tire I thought was a flower bed is actually a border with a cedar and perennials in it. It’s begging to become a Marian shrine, and I can’t wait to head out into the valley once the pussy willows appear to cut the wood to make the nook where the statue will go, where the clematis will climb. The lilacs will definitely need cutting but more than that, there will have to be some kind of fencing so that Sookie won’t get out into the yard on the south side. There are projects now that are coming into volition, the guy who digs around the house to put in new weeping tile will dig out a pond, stones will have to be laid, liners looked into, maybe concrete, but it’s taking shape. It’s less formal now and more cottage, and I’m liking that because it truly will honour the years that Baba put into the yard while making it my garden.
Just when you think it’s bad…like my friend Steven in Toronto said to me last night while cheering me up, “It’s amazing where life takes you.”