Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hope in a Bucket

Nothing in this world screams HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL quite as loudly as my annual efforts to grow tomatoes.

Not the making of New Year's resolutions, not the pope's Easter message, not the lighting of a single candle in the darkness. No, nothing says "I believe in the future!" as emphatically as the time and money I pour out on my patio plants  each spring.

"I believe in you!" I whisper to the seedlings as I lovingly cover them with fertilizer-saturated moisture control potting mix. "I know you can do it this year!" I croon as Miracle-Gro transplant easer pours out of my watering can to soothe their roots. "I have faith in your abilities to provide me the perfect spaghetti sauce, the most nostalgic of BLTs," I intone over the herbs and the tomatoes (two Romas, a patio variety, an heirloom, and two basils).

This year, I will be sleeping in on Saturday morning instead of setting my alarm for the crack of dawn so I can fight through the mob around the tomato vendors at the farmers' market. My plants will be so productive that they will belie my bedrock philosophy about gardening (which is to say, just don't, because if it's a good year gardening friends will keep you supplied and if it's a bad year...).

So yesterday, as the temperature approached triple digits again (In early May? What the heck, Kansas?), I was gardening. I was ruining my nail polish and mentally applauding as if I were at the end of a production of Peter Pan.

I do believe in tomatoes! I do, I do!

They're doomed.

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