Monday, April 30, 2012

Gardening Hands

Last Thursday, four days ago, my manicure was new and shiny. My hands were freshly moisturized, and smelled of white tea and ginger. Except for the abnormally stubby thumbs and that one fingernail that never grew out right after I slammed it in the Suburban door 20 years ago, these hands didn't look too bad.

But then came the weekend.

On Saturday I built some containers that allegedly will make me the Tomato Queen of Small Town and Surrounding Area. (After last  year's disastrous tomato season I'd be glad to get a single BLT out of my garden, but hope springs eternal.) I used power tools! And spray paint!

On Sunday after my nap I mixed the grow medium for the containers in the wheelbarrow, scooping up potting mix and perlite and squishing the rich concoction through my fingers before I planted my four tomatoes. And two basil plants, and a cilantro plant, and another tomato for good measure.

By the time I had rinsed out the wheelbarrow and coiled the hose back into place my hands looked as if I had dug my way out of Alcatraz using a spoon. The manicure was destroyed, a stick had punctured my cuticle, and the saber saw had worn a blister on my index finger. An extended session with a nail brush didn't budge the rim of dirt under my nails, nor did a clipper, nor did a toothpick.

This morning I'm typing with gardener's hands, and it isn't pretty. So why is it that every time I look down at my fingers I smile?


  1. Because hope springs eternal ..... and we never forget the taste of a homegrown tomato!

  2. I just planted tomatoes in pots on my front step. I have terrible luck growing anything, but just like you, this year I have hope for one nice tomato for a BLT. Just one.

  3. The country girl wins out over the city girl! Quite a contrast illustrated in your blog! Love it!

  4. You're smiling because life has proved over and over that what you will gain from hard work will outshine and outlast (& taste a WHOLE LOT BETTER!) than that which wasn't worked for.

    Unless it's fresh garden goodies from someone else's garden! That's hard to beat!!