Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I'm back. And it's all my fault.

It’s been awhile.  Remember me?  The procrastinating horticulturist with big dreams and a tiny budget.  I stepped out of my gardening column last October and into the classroom…as a substitute teacher.  Since then I’ve been policing first grade tattle-tales and brushing up on multiplying polynomials.  It’s probably been more educational for me than it has for the students.  But school’s out and the garden beckons. 

We survivors of the winter of 2012 can attest to the fact that there wasn’t much to survive.  It was lame by Midwestern standards.  Weathermen found it befuddling, but the explanation is simple.  It was my fault. 
The Culprits

Back in November, I tossed asunder my procrastinating ways and proactively purchased snow boots for my three darlings.  There was no snow on the ground and certainly none in the forecast, but an amazing deal at Land’s End greased my ‘productive cogs’.  The Uftring offspring don’t regularly wear catalog clothes, so top brand boots at bargain basement prices was more than I could resist.    My mom always told me “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”  Well, I have an addendum: “And if it really is true, the universe will balance out the difference.”  Our near-tropical winter was the only logical result.  My unthinkably great bargains were worn 3 times.  Total.  And they’ll undoubtedly be too small by the time our next snowfall rolls around.  This is why I don’t write a column on finance. 

Some of you may not have minded a mild winter.  Personally, I didn’t miss the snow shovel workouts I regularly get from December through February.  But my kids missed out on a whole year of snowballs, snow days and sledding and boy, did I hear about it!  The snowplow industry certainly took a hit on their bottom line.  And let’s not forget the squadrons of mosquitoes that woulda-coulda-shoulda died off had we been blessed with our typical Illinois frigidity.  They are sharpening their proboscis even as I write.  Flea and tick populations also enjoyed the balmy temps, so there’s no doubt that sooner or later, you and I will be regretting that delightfully warm winter. 

My discounted AND defrosted Jap Maple
I’m afraid I must also bear some of the responsibility for the destructive frost that mottled Kankakee gardens.  The early blast of spring heat made my garden look spectacular…too spectacular, apparently, and once again Mother Nature had to balance out the inequalities.  Specifically, the $20 Japanese Maple which leafed out into a burgundy perfection of the $120 range.  I failed to take a picture (I’m shedding chlorophyll tears as I type this) and the frost decimated it. 

Well, I can tell you, these not-insubstantial developments have weathered this old girl.  I will think twice before I un-procrastinate again.  Case in point: I placed no orders for seed or spring starts, even though the glossy seed catalogs were received and duly drooled over.  Their tempting photos and enticing coupons could not seduce me to spar with Murphy’s Law again.  Of course, the fact that I was tied up wrangling polynomials might have influenced my decision a bit. 

Goodness!  That was a lot of bad news.  You'd think I was the grumpy procrastinating horticulturist.  So to dispel any rumors of a sour disposition, let me end on a positive note.  Since welcoming procrastination back into my life, I've discovered a benefit: a boost to the local economy as I hunt through the area’s nurseries, stocking up on all the plants I failed to start myself.  I wonder if they would share their secret for flying beneath the universal balancing radar.  


Lyn said...

Hey, welcome back! So sorry about your very sad tale of woe, but it's great to hear (read?) from you again.

Design to Grow said...

Hey Lyn! My hubby is in Melbourne right now. : ) Hopefully he'll bring back a little Aussy accent. Are you ready to wrap up your season?

Design to Grow said...

Hey Lyn! My hubby is in Melbourne right now. : ) Hopefully he'll bring back a little Aussy accent. Are you ready to wrap up your season?

Casa Mariposa said...

I was just thinking over the weekend that I needed to email you and ask you to git yer blogging butt back in the saddle!! Hooray for being back!!
I did not get a single snow day this past year and the teachers were as tortured as the kids. Next year I'm hoping for back to back to back blizzards. :o) It always cracks me up when DC/northern VA shut down and everyone falls apart.

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