This is one of those posts written at 3:00 am. I have a head cold and I’m awake. I couldn’t breathe — the congestion tide rolled back up into my sinuses and the only cure for me at the moment was gravity. So, I’m sitting up and thinking — and these are the middle-of-the-night ramblings of a stuffy, sleepy me.
There are times when a gardener has to step off the garden path, when he or she has to set foot on mulch and tip-toe further in to investigate new growth, a weed, or a pest. Sometimes, it’s just to get a new perspective.
It’s the same thing with bloggers. Sometimes, you just have to step away from your theme — and for this post, I’m stepping off the garden path.
A local weather forecaster reminded me that in a few days it will be winter. The predicted high in Zone 10 for the day is 80 degrees, and I have to ask myself: “This is Christmas?”
It’s a lot like the question most people ask whenever I tell them I’m spending the holidays in south Florida. “Does it even feel like Christmas there?” they wonder. “I don’t think I would enjoy Christmas down there. How can it even feel like Christmas?”
When I started this blog, the first piece of advice I received was to find other blogs that I admired, blogs that I thought would appeal to the readers I hoped to attract. After scrolling through blog after blog, I found one that stood out from the rest.
It was classic and classy, well-written, witty, and wise.
It was Lee May’s Gardening Life.
I left a comment immediately and added the site to my newly learned term: a blogroll. For some time, Lee May’s Gardening Life was the only blog listed on that roll.
It had been a long time since I had written. Prior to blogging and prior to my life as a school social worker, I had been a journalist — but that was a long ago chapter in my life. So when Lee — a much-respected journalist — replied that he liked my writing, he provided water to my young sprouting blog and to my soul.
I think it’s safe to say that we all feel the world is falling apart. By now, we’ve been bombarded with news stories of crime and climate change, disrespect and disillusionment, violence and epidemics, extremism and fanaticism, terrorism and war. And now we have to come to grips with beheadings and crucifixions. Our 21st-century life has been turned back hundreds and hundreds of years.
At moments like this, I want to retreat into my garden. I feel safe there.
The sad truth, though, is that the world has always been a crazy place. Just look at the history that isn’t too far in the past. The Holocaust. JFK’s assassination. And MLK. And RFK. Son of Sam. AIDS. Oklahoma City. 9-11.
Yet, it is during these times of evil that so many people rise to the challenge to remind us that there is goodness in the world.
As we approach another September 11 anniversary, I would like to revisit a post that I wrote several years ago. It speaks of tremendous sadness, inspiration, and, most importantly, hope. Hang in there, everyone.
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.
In addition to lack of seed starting, there is another consequence to my escaping the cold for health reasons: the loss of my marching through March with my piping and drumming brothers and sisters. While the temperature here in South Florida comfortably rests in the low 80s, my mind and spirit are with my band, which who has marched in two to three parades each chilly weekend — so far. This Monday, St. Patrick’s Day, they will parade up 5th Avenue in New York City — and for the first time in years, I will not. Here’s a clip from a few years ago — that’s me front row center.
Watching it, I’m feeling a little green — with envy — that I can’t be there this year, and so I thought I would revisit a post which is as much a tribute to piping as it is to the band that took me in.