I know that I have not talked much at all about our garden this year. I created the kind of garden that could get neglected and I have seriously neglected it all summer. We went through the lettuce and arugula early in the season. I've been eating on the kale that's starting to peter out. We've just now started to get tomatoes from our tomato plants and most of those are still green. The other boxes were devoted to purple hulled peas. We've already had one harvest of peas, enough to have a whole meal with stewed tomatoes. For weeks I've looked at the vegetable garden and noticed that there was another harvest of peas coming but I've been to lazy to fight with the mosquitoes and ants for the peas.
Tuesday evening, I came home to an evening on my own. After eating a doctored Trader Joe's frozen pizza and sharing my crust with the dog, I pulled on my garden gloves and got out the weed eater. I managed to cut down one and half weeds when the line ran out. I swore and then got out the extra weed eater line and some scissors. The line was replaced in a short few minutes and I was back at it, fighting the weeds around the outside of the house and then inside the garden. I pulled up the over grown arugula, found three red Roma tomatoes (from plants that sprouted up from last year) and two bell peppers. I harvested the last of the kale and then started collecting purple hulled peas. By the time I was done, my arms itched with bug bites and my nose was running from allergies. After a quick shower, I spent the next half hour or so shelling purple hulled peas.
I can remember sitting on the tailgate of my Dad's blue pickup and shelling purple hulled peas until the tips of my fingers were purple and tender to the touch. In fact, for some reason or another, that tailgate was the spot for all of the garden harvesting chores from snapping green beans to shucking the corn. My Dad's blue pickup takes up a lot of space in my folder of childhood memories. I can still feel the bare skin of my sister's leg pressed against mine as the four of us (Dad, Mom, me and Janelle) sat in the cab traveling to our next camping adventure. I remember the time that truck broke down while we were visiting the Puye Cliff Dwellings in New Mexico. Janell and I ran around the ruins at the top of the bluff while Dad tried to figure out a way to fix the truck. The truck looked so tiny from our vantage point of standing on the ruins. As the day wore on, I remember sitting inside the home of the guide/caretaker while we waited on Dad to get back with a part to repair the truck. The guide was a Native American and his home was filled with traditional Native American pieces. He had a row of carved animals sitting on a table. His hair was long and he wore a park ranger uniform. I remember being little in that truck.
It's funny how some things trigger a memory and the more you think about it, the more vivid the details. When I finished shelling this latest harvest of peas, my fingers were purple and tender just as they were those many many summers ago. I am thankful for that tender feeling in the tips of my fingers and I am thankful for that purple stain of my skin. I am thankful for the memories that those things triggered. I am thankful for the harvest from our little neglected garden. We have probably two more rounds of purple hulled peas coming. The tomatoes that are now so green will eventually ripen even if we have to line the windowsills with them to get them to do so. These are good things to be thankful for this week.
I am fortunate.
My tithe this week has gone to the Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Houston and the American Red Cross. Please give if you feel so inclined. You can also buy something from the Hurricane Relief Amazon Wish list. When you start the checkout process, you'll see a listing for Merritt Law Firm LLC Gift Registry address. That's the address you'll select for shipping. I just sent a large package of baby soap.