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TALK IN THE GARDEN
August 11, 2004
 
Still don't know what the vine is that now stretches ten feet beyond the front garden's edge on two sides. Could be a zucchini. Could be a cantaloupe. I'm thinking cantaloupe, because we have cantaloupe for dessert a lot, and we compost the melon peel. We carefully don't compost the seeds -- try that once and you'll never do it again. But a few probably got into the pile anyway and felt confident enough to hitch a ride into the garden on a shovelful of black gold and try their luck.

The enormous vine looks damned silly crawling along among the lavender and the dahlias, I'll say that for it. So does the volunteer tomato plant, which Q staked on a nearby rose bush. Dumbest looking thing I ever saw, a tomato among the roses. But it's got five tomatoes on it, so it's not going anywhere anytime soon. He doesn't know that I've pulled up about five other tomato plants from that front garden. Smothered them in their cradles. It is a secret in our marriage -- or it was, I guess, until he wakes up and reads this.

Out back, the tomato vines have reached the top of the bamboo skyline Q erected for them earlier this summer. Those bamboo stakes are twelve feet tall. He has to get on a ladder to tie the vines onto the top. Staking them, instead of letting them crawl all over the garden like the nameless visitor out front, increases their yield. Their yield is magnificent. I'm having a tomato sandwich for breakfast today. I had two for lunch yesterday, and the day before. Think I'll have a tomato sandwich for lunch today, too. Tomatoes are an important antioxidant.

And they are beautiful: red and round, bursting with their sun-given goodness. They fall right into your hand when they are ready -- Just tickle the bottom a little and it'll come right off, Q told Madeline when she was little, and she did, delighted when the ruby globe obliged.

Cantaloupes are beautiful, too. So are zucchini. So are the plump basil leaves, nodding to me as I walk by them, whispering something lascivious to me about pesto tonight. And what's wrong with gnocchi in a sage butter sauce? the sage plant wants to know. How about me for supper, for a change? You people eat too much pesto.

I murmur something apologetic about cholesterol, and the plant issues an immediate rebuttal: Sage leaves in olive oil is just as nice. Trust me.

You know, says a clump of chives next to a dahlia I'm staking, you can put a handful of me in the pesto with the garlic. Nice.

The parsley puts in its two cents. Yup. And you should grab a handful of me and put that in, too. Pesto with just basil is boring. You need parsley. Q loves parsley so much that I once framed a picture of some and put it among the photos of his grandchildren. I forget what he said when he finally noticed it.

That's the way it is in the garden. You can't get a word in edgewise out here. I'm going back in the house, where it's quiet.

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Remember my misplaced datebook? Well, I found it, but then it was in my purse when it was stolen last week. In church. Do me a favor and confirm speaking engagements with me again? I hate to ask, but I would hate double scheduling events on opposite sides of the country even more. I believe I have almost all of them on the computer calendar I made the last time this happened, but it seems to me that the first few months of 2005 were fuller than they look there. Are you expecting me in fall 2004 or in 2005? Let me know. And keep your purse with you at all times.
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I must be in hospital again tomorrow for more tests. I apologize for the recent spottiness of the eMos; I have been tired since these two hospitalizations and not quite as productive as I'd like to be. I'm sure I will regain my energy soon. I do thank you all for your good wishes.
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