Larry once said to me it was like I had two lives. One pre “me” (the Miami lost days) and then there was me the mom/single mom, living in Fair Oaks, with those boys I so often speak about (and the dogs). I guess now I’m on life #3. I also often talk about how much I miss those boys and although the sadness is getting less and less there were days when I couldn’t stop crying because I missed those days, that house, those boys, those dogs so very very much. And I miss my neighbors Mike and Frieda. I have always had some good neighbors. I had the Dufala’s when I was married to Dennis; Donna, Bobby and the girls in Victory Terrace and Mike and Freida in Fair Oaks. One of the things that kept us close, what we had in common was what grew in our yards. I had raspberries that Mrs. Dufala and I shared over the fence. Mike and Freida in Fair Oaks shared our love of our gardens in our tiny postage stamp sized yards. I will never forget Freida’s delight every spring when she planted the garden and then later when the beans would come in or she got a good tomato. It was always reason for a screech of great delight. She was happy and I was happy for her. My kids probably remember (hopefully remember) when I would make dinner and always specify if something was from the garden. It was mac and cheese and green beans from the garden! I actually grew corn back there. Corn right off the stalk is sooo good. One particularly good year I was out picking broccoli with a flashlight around Thanksgiving. I have lots of pictures of my garden back there….if only I could find my pictures.
Living in Florida, in the summer, with no farmers market is a huge transition. Gardening is really in my blood. From my grandparents who had a huge garden and canned everything to my mother who was always mad that we didn’t help her in her very large garden, to every house I’ve ever had I’ve always had a garden. Living down here in the summer when produce should be abundant, and is not, is quite the transition and leaves a bit of a void. Bigger than I would have thought. However, just the other day I was driving down the street and saw someone planting a garden. Then I overheard a couple of people talking in the grocery store about having time to get their plants in and then today this:
So the void of the summer just may possibly be filled with the abundance of the Fall into Spring in Florida. Just as the northern farmers markets begin to wind down, the St. Petersburg farmers market started this past weekend. I’ve been there several times on previous visits and can’t wait to get back there. Maybe even this next weekend we’ll try planting seeds.
We all have bad days and today was another one for me but after I saw that green tomato my whole demeanor changed. Maybe today’s lesson for myself was to remember what really matters. Maybe it’s about the possibilities, maybe it’s about the start of growing season, maybe it’s the start of my growing into my life #3 or just remembering Mike and Freida and the best of Lynn #2, I don’t know but I’m loving that tomato. It’s just out of order (see previous post) I’m used to the growing season being in Spring. Now I have to get used to growing season being in the Fall and Winter. Hey, maybe it’s symbolic about me being in the Fall of my life? Maybe there’s a really cool transition growing season coming up in my personal life? It’s a lot to read into a tiny green tomato. But what the heck, it’s the kind of mood I’m in.
Just imagine what I could read into our lemon tree coming back from the dead.