Attack of the Life Altering Tomatoes!

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So it’s raining like an S.O.B. right now and I really don’t mind.

“What!” Sometimes I surprise myself with the stuff I come up with. This time last year I would have had a million and one comments about how sugar melts in the rain I don’t mind it so much because it’s good for my garden. It’s my first time around and while I still have yet to harvest one kale leaf I think I’m doing well.

With the help of my dad and kids, who could use any excuse to play in the dirt, I have a raised garden stuffed to wood with the aforementioned kale, tomatoes, spinach, and peppers.

At least that’s how it started. I planted early and got the tail end of the last frost. I thought my gardening dreams were over. I almost cried when I came outside that morning, lifted the tarp I’d so carefully placed the night before and saw my already less than hardy tomato plants shriveled up like Mr. Burns at the beach in April.

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I called my dad and whined and complained, but he told me to give it time. “Plants have a funny way of coming back to life.”

A week or two later, they did just that!

 Two weeks after that, the strawberry plant I put in a pot burst open and I got one … just one … strawberry. This was the stuff legends were made of as I quickly named it, took its picture, and let it live in infamy on Facebook with the eloquent caption, “I grew a strawberry, bitches.”

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I haven’t been this excited about much of anything in a long time.

The things I’ve learned about gardening in the last few weeks go far beyond putting seeds in the ground. (Aside from having to figure out what the hell these things are and why the trees would decide to let a million of them go at the same time.)

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It reminds me of our experiences as people. You’re born so small and frail and it’s your parents job to protect you from the cold world.

Sometimes that protection works (my dad said his tomato plants did just fine with the tarp) and sometimes, for various reasons and circumstances, you end up hurt and shriveled. Then there are people who will count you out and there are those who will always be in your corner. But with the right environment, a few good rains, and some sun, you can always come back.

Hell, if you’re strong enough and get deep enough roots you just might be able to make it through the winter.

It’s downright poetic when you really get into the weeds (pun intended) and think about it.

I guess it just took me by surprise. Of all of the things going on in my life right now, I have found a place of calm and insight in the nursery of Home Depot.

Who knew?

So as I sit here this morning and look at the sunrise covered in heavy clouds and rain, I’m not thinking about how my feet are going to get wet as I run to the car or what it’s going to do to my hair.

What’s important is how much taller and stronger my plants will be after the clouds clear.

 

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What is Normal?

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Photo Credit: Thenextweb.com

I’m an average American. I get up every morning, shower, dress, make coffee, and head out the door (sometimes ten minutes late) to start my day. I sit in traffic, drop the kids off, and make it to work in time to check emails, run reports, and attend meetings. You know, normal stuff.

While the term “normal” has a debatable meaning, it is still safe to say that this is what the average person does Monday through Friday.

But is this what I want to do?

“But nobody likes their job.” This is what I usually hear when I ask people this question.

But why is that normal?

I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t want to spend my life in a cubicle, giving my all to company that’ll give me a gold watch after I’m no longer able to think and perform at a rate that’s no longer satisfactory to them.

I don’t want to sacrifice time with my children to work long hours and dedicate myself to a project for a firm.

I don’t want to sacrifice my partnership when I come home with an attitude sparked by being over stressed.

But then I come to the crossroad: if I don’t want to do any of these things how the hell am I supposed to make money? Feed the children I love to spend time with? Be a financial asset and not a liability to my partner?

That’s the part I haven’t figured out yet.

But what I do know is that if being normal means constantly having to push aside your values, beliefs, and integrity to the side for several hours a day, I don’t want any parts of it. The risk for me does not justify the reward.

But before I throw in the towel, let me shower and dress so I can head out the door and be normal.