A box arrived in the mail the other day — and this is the story of that box and all that it holds.
On Monday nights, I participate in a Twitter conversation called Garden Chat — a very large, hour-long cyber get-together with gardeners from all over. Usually someone hosts the chat, which means that person organizes a theme and related gardening questions. Those questions are tweeted and answered, and those answers are read and retweeted and favorited by all of the participants.
At the same time, there are smaller side conversations — sharing new flower and harvest photos, tweeting tips and words of encouragement, and, of course, laughing.
It’s not unusual for there to be a giveaway during these chats — simply leave a comment attached to the giveaway tweet and you’re entered. At the end of the chat, a winner is randomly selected and announced.
One recent Monday night, I arrived thirty minutes late to the chat. The news feed was quite extensive and I spent a huge amount of time trying to catch up on the theme, the questions, the answers — and the giveaway.
Now would be a good time to tell you a bit about Handy Helen.
Since starting this blog, I have been touched and overwhelmed by the connections that can be made through social media. There used to be a time when neighbors spoke with one another across the fence. As the world has gotten smaller, though, it seem we are reaching further away to establish those connections.
Although Handy Helen and I have never met face to face, we tweet daily via Twitter. As her handle implies, she’s handy with a capital H. She’s also quite funny, very inquisitive, has an extraordinary ability to multitask (participating in about five tweeted conversations at the same time), and has an ability to communicate in 140 characters (or less) her thoughts and her emotions through embedded emojis and letters strung together to make sounds. “Woot” is one of her favorites.
The Twitter format was made for her — and Handy Helen was the woman behind this particular chat’s giveaway. But I was late and couldn’t find a description of the giveaway — and I was impulsive, leaving a comment and hoping that I would win the handcrafted unknown.
At the end of the Garden Chat hour, a tweet appeared that I had won the giveaway. More tweets appeared congratulating me on the win, wishing me happiness and success with the prize — whatever it was.
I figured I should find out so I could send a proper thank you — and I scrolled back in tweeted time to find the first mention of the giveaway. When I found it, I cheered with excitement.
As I’ve lately lamented, at present I’m a gardener without a garden — but I am a gardener with time to research and plan and dream. As a result of your comments here and my visiting other blogs and the Garden Chat chats over the fence, I have considered so many more aspects of gardening: attracting bees, avoiding GMO plants and seeds, using native plants, and perhaps having my garden-to-be certified as a wildlife habitat.
In the list of requirements to achieve that designation, I need a birdhouse — and now I have one. I may not know where it will be mounted, but each time I look at it, I will remember the bloggers and bloomers, chatters and commenters, teachers and tweeters I have met across the garden gate — people who have all had a hand in my future garden.
And I will always think of the crafty woman who built the birdhouse, a birdhouse that will certainly come in handy. Woot-woot!