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An outdoor meditation: On sugar peas

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Brothers and sisters, spring.


The icy fog burned off earlier than forecast, so, at noon, I spaded two rows in the garden.

In the process, I turned up enough nice night crawlers and earthworms that I walked back in and pulled out my nearly empty box of crawlers.

I hoed a trench, then planted a row of sugar peas, a chubby pack of dwarf gray (edible pod) variety from Weeks Seeds, first.

I usually try to plant a row of sugar peas in honor of my late Grandma Bowman. She planted her sugar peas so early that she dug the trenches in the fall and saved a coal bucket of dirt in a shed, so she could actually sow her peas while the ground was still frozen.

I'm not that crazed.

But I am close.

Four years ago, my annual February/March planting of sugar peas took on added meaning, more than just in memory of my grandmother.

In February of 2006, Henry Palmisano, one of the brothers of Henry's Sports, Bait & Marine, died a week or so after my mother passed.

February sucks as it is most years. That was a particularly tough one.

So planting of the peas means more than just the planting of the peas the last few years.

It is spring coming in, winter going out. Turning over memories as much as spading soil.

Oh, you know, I know it, there will be backsliding. A few more snowfalls, a few nights cold enough to knock some reality into our spring hopes.

But baseball broadcasts began last week. I even listened to the Cubs on WGN-AM, briefly. On the Sox broadcast on 670 The Score, Ed Farmer was in mid-season story-telling form already.

In the second row, I sprinkled, thickly, spinach, Bloomsdale longstanding variety.

Filled the row back in with the hoe.

Then admired the darkness of the turned damp soil against the lighter shades of leaves I mulch the garden with each fall.

The sun warmed my head. The exercise quickened my thinking. A woodpecker I couldn't find hammered my neighbor's bare elm.

It was time.

I picked up the hoe, axe, shovel and blue pack of crawlers. Rolled the opened seed packs shut. Stowed all, then went in.


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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on March 8, 2010 1:51 PM.

Root River: Update, spring sign was the previous entry in this blog.

Chicago River: Carping kings is the next entry in this blog.

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