Every year I make these grandiose plans for my gardens. And in the past I have been able to carry many of them out. I like to add a few perennials to spice up the old beds and to slowly fill in new ones. I fill my front steps with my own creations in pots. I fill the narrow vegetable garden strip next to my driveway as well as numerous pots. I relish in digging my hands in the dirt as I transfer my stress and worries. But my gardening expectations have had to switch around due to circumstances out of my control.
Last year I had the same big plans for the yard. I got a little delayed in starting the veggie garden because of working. I had the girl I babysit for help me hoe the bed and mix in the compost. We even started planting together. I love to plant with kids and to pass on the knowledge and legacy left to me from my great-grandmother through my parents.
I had been battling recurring cysts since March and was often in pain. I figured if I took it slow, I could still get in a lot of planting. But then the girl and I went hiking and one of those cysts burst. I wasn't in immediate danger and my surgery was scheduled six weeks out. But I was in a lot of pain. Slower movements meant less ability to work and many of my days were spent either sitting and reading or sitting and writing or sitting and tutoring. I managed to squeeze out a handful of tomatoes, beans, and peas and plant a few annuals, but that was it.
After my surgery, I had a long healing process, but still managed to get out and plant a few hundred bulbs. New expectations of a great yard were born.
This past April, my life changed forever. My mother had to go into a nursing home for her Alzheimers. My father, who had fallen and hit his head when out and about getting Mom situated, finally sought help for his headaches when bronchitis overwhelmed his COPD. He had to have brain surgery and is still hospitalized and relatively nonresponsive. Now instead of playing in my own yard, I have to spend a lot of time at the hospital and talking to doctors, and yes, trying to make my living. I had purchased sixteen tomato plants in April, but they are still sitting and waiting to be planted. The only peas I am going to get are the seeds that randomly started growing this year after not germinating last year. My bulbs were beautiful but I don't know if/when anything else will get done. The weeds are starting up again.
I have a friend helping me mow the lawn, because I am allergic to the freshly cut grass. I am sure he will help me with the weeding. I guess my expectations this year need to simply become maintenance of what I have and I will try again next year.