A wonderful package came in the mail yesterday, containing:
Jackson's Christmas present from Aunt Maria & Uncle Rob. Can you stand the cuteness? They special-ordered it from Maria's friend, Twittering Bird, and it was definitely worth the wait. Jackson hasn't put this owl down yet and is sleeping with it right now. Love hand-crafted gifts sent with love!
They also included a little (completely unnecessary but totally appreciated!) belated birthday gift for me, Every Garden is a Story: Stories, Crafts and Comforts. What a beautiful book! I cracked it open and flowers and strawberries and ideas spilled out everywhere...such a lovely book to peruse at this time of the year in Minnesota. Thank you!
It was perfect timing for this book to arrive too, since I've been doing a lot of thinking about our garden already this year. I know, I know, best laid plans and all that...it's true that I haven't done much to our yard since moving in back in 2004. But I just have a feeling that this year is different. I don't have grand plans of installing a French formal garden or anything, but actually having a vegetable patch (that is cared for instead of just being left to the weather and the squirrels) and a few flowers is really appealing to me this year.
I dream of enlisting the help of my son this year (2-year-olds can help dig in the dirt, so why not, right?). I dream of starting my own seeds this year, and since my dear friend Rebecca is a Master Seed Starter, this shouldn't be a problem (help, guidance, assistance at my fingertips!). I dream of securing a shade awning from IKEA this year before they are sold out to actually make our pure-sun yard enjoyable to play in. I dream of helping Dan finally plant that tree that he's been wanting to plant for years, so that in the future our sun problems will be fixed naturally (planting a tree in honor of a new life in the family this summer, perhaps?).
But most of all, I dream of just renewing a part of me that hasn't gone away and is dying to come out again...I am a gardener. I need to feel the dirt under my fingernails. I need to eat vegetables that I've grown myself. I need to plant seeds, squeal with delight about the sprouts, tend the young plants, water the flowers and dead-head the stems to prolong the blooms, cut down the stalks at the end of the season and put it all in the compost to renew the garden the next year.
I am a gardener, just like the necklace that Dan made for me says..."g-a-r-d-e-n-e-r." (He made it with cool beads of letters, carrots, peas and ladybugs on a black cord a few years back...score, big time.)
Another time, I may tell the tales of my gardens from days gone by (including the gory details of slug wars, the pain and suffering of tomato blight and the wonder of salad greens that came back years and years later when I wasn't expecting them...and in new places). But for now, tonight, I'm just dreaming of what the garden has in store for me this year.
And relishing in my favorite gardening books. Since I have a new one to add to my gardening collection today, I couldn't help but pick up some of the old favorites too. There's From the Ground Up, People With Dirty Hands, The Language of Flowers, A Way to Garden, 100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names, Backyard Herb Garden, Second Nature, and of course, the Western Garden Book from Sunset Publishing (my first garden was in California...), to name a few of the good ones. I love these books and could pour over them for hours just soaking in the rich photos of the greenery and grand ideas of how to finally rid my garden of squirrels once and for all. Ah...January dreams of spring in Minnesota...
I'll keep you posted on these gardening dreams and we'll just have to wait and see what comes of them this year. Yes, I am well aware that I will be in my third trimester of this pregnancy when planting season finally rolls around here, so I may be completely whacked on what is possible. But I also remember having a lot of energy and being able to do a lot more than I expected when I was pregnant with Jackson...so...we'll see.
Jackson. Two tomorrow. That means two years ago tonight I was laboring quietly away in the hospital room, not aware that my baby was in distress and we would be in surgery within hours (what? didn't I ever tell you that story? maybe another time...). But two years ago tomorrow, I was holding my baby and he was staring at me with his huge blue eyes and E.T.-like neck - more alert than a newborn should be - and it was love at first site.
Just last week he wore these bowling shoes that seemed at once teeny tiny and super huge.
And then he went and got a girlfriend. Time flies...