26 July 2008

Never Prune While Drunk

That's my best gardening advice. Even if you think the job can't wait. That you won't have time tomorrow or any other day in the foreseeable future. I know when something needs pruning, it needs pruning. It's like a haircut that can't wait: it's 11pm and you're in the bathroom- optimistic with the scissors. You know how well that usually goes. I'll say it again. Don't prune if you're drunk.

Even a glass and a half can cloud my judgment these days. We had an unusually warm evening in Oakland. We finished dinner on the deck and watered. I like watering with a glass of wine and the family milling about. It's my little suburban dream. I can leave the rest of the suburbs where they belong, but a hose in one hand and a drink in the other is my bliss.

I digress.

Watering one spot leads to another, leads back to the veggie garden. Which leads me to wonder why the beans are still seedlings and the tomatoes didn't flower with vigor. And then it hits me. The tree mallow is twelve feet tall and that's too big. Yeah, it's a tree mallow. It's shading the beds. And with the local water restrictions, I have watered less. No time like the present! It's light out at 7:30! The family is fed and happy. I'll prune!

It happened just like that, I swear. The pruning wasn't so bad, aesthetically. Or at least I think in my current state. The peripherals were problematic.

The Oh, Shit!
Why am I pruning during a drought? Don't I usually prune in the winter rains? We prune to fill out the plant. Is this best for the mallow? Oh, the flowers are so pretty; but I'm killing them.

The Dead Babies
And then Otto runs to me, showing me the "Ma-mos!" The first small, green tomatoes. Something must have come from my mouth, because Stella asks, hopefully, from 40 feet away, "What did Otto do?!" I show her and she smirks. She did the exact same thing the Summer of 2006. I tell her so.

The Inspiration
Never prune while drunk. It's a post title in that instant. My error composted into creativity. Not bad, actually.

The Fallout
I turn off the spigot (does anyone else love that word and never use it?). I skip to the laptop, knowing it's been days since my last risky post. I need to bury it a bit. And I type what you started reading moments ago. (Your moments are hours to me. We did a bath-milk-bed in between sentences.) Oh. And I type, and Otto moves flotsam from a little ceramic tray to my old keyboard. Screws. Pins. Beads. A shoe charm.

Maybe my best gardening advice is my best parenting advice. Don't try to do too many things at once. You never know what will come of it- or what the toddler will do while you're absorbed in the distorted glory of your words and ideas thrown to the world.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

What a great post. I will have to remember your advice! Cathy