Saturday, April 12, 2008

Dig In!

Today was one of those days where it was easy to drift off task and find yourself searching craigslist to entertain yourself. Unbeknownst to me, but known to my husband courtesy of my father *gulp*, you can purchase erotic services on there. Apparently my retired engineer father needs some more projects to do around the house and a little less time on the computer. All Vinnie needed was parts for his boiler, parts for his tractor, lights for the barn and maybe a few user manuals for various metal items in the yard when Old Pops mentions the wonders of craigslist and all that can be located on there, including parts attached to other parts that go into more parts. I suggested we look for a puppy instead.

A few wasted hours later and no puppy in sight we moved on to other things one can do on a cold, rainy April Saturday. No, not THAT. Instead I found myself helping the kids put dirt into egg cartons so they could start to plant all varieties of things. Daughter had some money plant seeds purchased earlier in the day, Boy G has some weird fascination with carrots and was dumping seeds steadily into little piles on top of his soil, Boy D was looking lost and on the verge of a melt-down because there was "nothing" for him to plant. In a flash I was running to the granary to locate our old box of seeds. It had been sitting stagnant for a year and had almost become a part of the wall, but the seeds inside were dry and hopefully willing.

A skeptic would not have made a dash to get those seeds as most of them have been here as long as I have. I moved here 11 years ago this month, stuck my shovel in the ground, filled the chicken coop with chicks and began running these lonely county roads. That first spring we had the most amazing garden, all the usuals you would expect but also cotton, peanuts, sweet potatoes and tobacco. We didn't just grow these things but managed to harvest them! There is nothing like watching a seed smaller than the tip of a pencil turn into a massive, fragrant tobacco plant. I've never been a smoker (unless you count that one night in college where I dealt 20 hands of euchre in a row while I smoked one cigarette after another) and Vinnie is only a social smoker (although a genetic defect compels him to be social without a smoke). We grew ornamental types as well as those intended for inhalation, which according to our research anyone can grow up to a 1/10 of an acre of tobacco for personal use.

Like Old Uncle Frank (may he rest in peace) always told Vinnie, "If you don't plant it, it won't grow." We have subscribed to this statement for 11 years now and now we will see if 11 year old tobacco seeds can pull off a miracle. It'll take 3-5 weeks for germination to produce a summer filled with wonder and a winter filled with some noxious cigarettes for Vinnie and his buddies.

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