I spend most evenings on the porch, smoking my solitary cigarette for the day and having a bit of Southern Comfort. It’s a great time to reflect on the day, mull over what actually got done compared to what was planned, and contemplate the next days agenda, along with listening to the night sounds.
I usually head back outside around 7:30 or 8, settle into my favorite lawn chair and light that lone smoke. Snuggling in with a blanket (it’s still pretty cool this year) and a small glass of liquid refreshment I think back through the day.
The most monumental aspect of the last few days has been breaking in my new cobra head garden tool. I’ve been interested in them for a couple years now, having seen ads in gardening magazines. But how many gadgets does one need? I’m not a hugh online shopper and I didn’t know where to get one in a real store… it’s not like Wal Mart carries them! As you may know from previous posts I purchased one at Baker Creek last weekend and just got around to using it the other day. WoW!
That little hand tool does everything the makers claim it to do, and more. This blog isn’t a paid advert for them but golly I don’t know how I did ANY gardening before I acquired that thing.
I easily dug two hugh holes to transplant some large rhubarb plants in just a couple minutes. I dug about 25 pieces of dock ( yes I have dock, ACK!) in no time flat and didn’t break the roots off. Having such a powerful tool so close to my grip I could actually feel through the handle where the root was and avoid cutting it while slicing through the deep soil. I was over joyed. Next I cleaned a flower bed and whipped right through the weeds there, and scalped along the outer edge for a clean look. I couldn’t stop weeding today for the ease of it. Needless to say that tool will not leave my side when I’m working in the garden from now on. It was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made on a hand tool. Am I repeating myself yet? I’m thinking about having it engraved with my name.
I also moved a pile of wood in the hopes it won’t be cold enough to build another fire in the furnace, moved a few wheelbarrows of yard refuse to the compost pile, scalped around a couple more beds and swept the patio. Then it was lunch time. I splurged and had a hamburger on a whole grain bun piled high with garden lettuce and fresh green onions, mayo and Aunt Zomas pickle relish.
This evening after dinner and dishes I took myself to the porch. It’s amazing here this time of year. Deep silence filled with all manner of noise slowly creeping in around my ears. The tree frogs with their almost sweet trill, birdlike in nature; always a sign of spring, wet earth and warmer temperatures. Distant rumbles of occasional thunder sounded. The air was warm and almost heavy and the light fading. Gradually the tree frogs slaked off and the whippoorwills filled in, calling back and forth from one side of the woods to the other. All these night sounds underlined by the sound of falling water, falling and echoing, falling 20 odd feet into a shallow stone lined pool, just below the house. Water music adding to the cacophony of silence. Then I noticed the fireflies for the first time this year, just a couple at first at the edge of the woods blinking on and off, on and off, twinkling just like… well… fireflies! As the air grew heavier and the distant rumble grew closer the light dance in the woods expanded to dozens then hundreds.
My cigarette long gone and my drink only half finished I watched and listened as Sissy and Rover nuzzled at my feet.
When I was a child in my Grandmothers back yard on warm summer nights we would each get a canning jar and collect fireflies to see by. The big back yard would be filled with the shrill laughter of children running barefoot through the grass oblivious to the possibility of ticks, chiggers, and copperheads. Grandma Dall would give us each a small glass jar with a lid and we would snag as many fireflies as we could, counting and bragging how many we had. They were our night lights, our flashlights. Later, exhausted, sweaty and itchy from our exertions the night air would cool and our lights would slow to a dull pulse and we would free them back to the wild.
There are no children here to run through the grass and laugh. My son is grown and I have no grandchildren. Yet. I have those memories and I have tonight. Life in the Ozarks is filled with many kinds of memories and I am still building them.