Saturday, March 24, 2007

Worry, Tilling and Fussing

It all started when I killed my tiller. OK, so maybe it's not a mortal wound, but it doesn't exactly till, either. When the thingy that holds the roundy part in place fell completely off as  I rammed gently bumped the cinder blocks at the end of a row, I knew I was in trouble.

Having been raised in the inner city, and knowing little about gardening that I didn't read in a book, I keep quiet and learn a lot from watching my friends. When I noticed two weeks ago that my friend-who-was-born-with-a-hoe-in-his-hand, had his garden turned over, the "Aha!" moment came, and I knew that it was the appointed time. I still couldn't tell you the last frost date for my area, so I'll listen and learn when to sow my collards, too.

After killing breaking the tiller, my first thought was that my coveted outside time was over, and, after a winter's worth of being cooped up inside, this was no small matter. Crushed, I instantly started thinking of the steps involved in repairing the tiller: load up the tiller, spend half a day getting everyone shoed and jacketed, drive into town, find the part, escort seven children to a public restroom, then drag everyone home only to discover that I didn't get the right part. Then I was sure the broken part would cost thousands of dollars, have to be special ordered, take months to be delivered, and gardening season would be over before it ever got started at my house.

Once I caught myself and called this thought process by it's rightful name, Worry, I repented, and began to look for the bright side of not having the tiller available. My garden is not terribly labor-intensive, anyway. It is a raised-bed (read that: very soft soil) Square Foot (read that: very tiny) garden. I could always  just turn over the soil with a hoe. Even though tilling was kinda fun, it was still a little more like breaking a wild pony than I preferred. So this would be an enjoyable form of exercise with immediate tangible results (read that: instant gratification).

Anyway, I am the girl who is always lamenting about the ridiculous ironies in our culture. What sense does it make to get a desk job, determined to 'not work as hard as my parents did', then buy a riding lawnmower because you don't have time to cut grass, then a health club membership to 'get some exercise'?  It is like simultaneously running the air conditioner to cool air on a hot sunny day and the clothes dryer to heat air. Or driving to the park to take a walk. Or sending Momma to work to be able to pay for private schooling and convenience meals (and therapy because of the stress). Simpler is better.

So I pulled out my hoe.

About half-way through my methodical hand turning of the garden I started to wish I had never been so smug regarding the aforementioned inconsistencies. At our house, you lose any right to fuss about stuff that you aren't doing something about (read that: Don't talk the talk if you aren't willing to walk the walk). Just as I determined to suck it up and smile my way through to the end, Mr Visionary showed up with the exact piece needed to repair the tiller. When he had the thing perfectly fixed and tested in less than five minutes, I knew two things. First, my worrying had been way out-of-hand. The piece cost $.68, and was easily picked up on a routine errand while Mr. Visionary was already in town. Second,much as I would have liked to should finish it by hand,  I would have go against my high ideals resigned determination and use the tiller to finish the garden.

After all, I wouldn't want to offend Mr. Visionary.

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