The Winter Thaw

RogerandOutJournal log entry – Jogging in place, staring out the back window of my living room, I can see the polyurethane netting I’d hung last year, stretching from pole to pole as a barrier between the critters ranging from deer to groundhogs, and my treasured berry bushes, kiwi vines, grape vines, and my one solitary fruit tree, an apricot. The tugging of the snow on the netting during the course of the winter has left it drooping, and with the glare of the morning sun now shimmering off of it, my yard looks as if it is covered in massive cobwebs. If I use my imagination, I can picture a farm of arachnids, the size of large roosters, scurrying about, entombing pesky groundhogs instead of flies in their silk, sucking these rodents dry, down to hairy deflated balloons … but even as I chuckle at the thought, I realize, “No, that won’t work.” My wife doesn’t like spiders.

Yes, it looks rather desolate and gray, and there are still patches and small mounds of snow as the temperature reaches for and tries to hold on to something above freezing. Inside thoughts turn to outside thoughts … mosquitos … tadpoles in my pool … trying to bury woodchucks in their holes, which is stupid, because they can dig and get out by making new ones, and they always do … and Japanese beetles eating my beloved roses, and Nishiki Willows, and raspberry bushes … and grape vines … and I’ll stop there before I cry. It gets too depressing. And I wonder … I truly wonder if I am I up for the challenge. … My answer?

“No way in hell!!! I’m not!!! Help me!!!!!” I’ve seen my shadow, and it is all of them, and I must run back into my hole!

Then, as if an answer to my prayers, I receive a catalogue in the mail from a nursery. I view page after page of pages of perfect pictures of perfect flowers that’d been kept, most likely, in highly classified level 5 greenhouses, while all diseases or pests, which is common knowledge, have only level 4 clearance. But then I concoct out of the other crack in my brain that perhaps they’d been “Photoshopped” these perfect images. I’ve seen numerous articles and examples of the cover-ups and the-gone-overboard failures of touch-ups on models found on covers of fashion and swimsuit magazines. I can’t believe that gardening is not a multi-million dollar business that benefits from the removal of slight blemishes also.

Do you see where I’m going with this … besides getting shot by someone in the gardening industry? This is the prepping. This is my psyching up. This is the lying to myself so that when any or all of my plants die this spring, or look more like acne-riddled nerds with greasy hair rather than supermodels, I can still claim it wasn’t my fault.

The truth is out there, but they won’t let me see it. Dormant conspiracies are fostered out of the winter’s thaw. Perfect gardens are dreams, totally unreachable. And as I sense this lie of commercial humanity … I’m feeling better already. If they won’t show me, other than their lies, what I’m actually able to achieve, then how am I to know if I’ve failed? Thank you, Lord; I don’t know how I could.

Now … after having done well at pointing a finger in the wrong direction, I can clearly state that I think I’m ready … confident with my asterisked success … and can, without a doubt, see a greener hue encompassing my thumb. See? Sometimes delusional is good. Happy spring!

 Signing off,

Roger and out

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