It's Spring Break, friends, or in my case Spring Extended Weekend. Rather than getting the full week that many schools get, my school just gets Thursday, Friday, and Monday off. I've grown used to the condensed break, and while I miss the full week of days gone by, I have been determined to make the most of these precious few days I have been given, particularly since I know that it will be a long slog through the rest of April and May to get to the end of the school year.
This year, Mama Nature has smiled on all us Spring Breakers by giving us a gloriously beautiful couple of days -- temps in the 70s and even a day in the 80s, sunshine, light breeze (okay, the light breeze at times bordered on full throttle wind, but whatevs). I couldn't let the beauty go to waste and decided that it was the perfect opportunity for me to do some gardening. Yes, I know it's still a bit early to do much in the way of planting, but this year I have decided to try my hand at vegetable gardening. I'm a little nervous about it, but I've done a lot of research and am feeling pretty psyched. I've spent the past two days out working on the site of my future garden, digging and raking and turning soil. In the next day or so, I'm going to be planting some garlic (it's right smack dab in the middle of optimum planting time for garlic) and over the next month or so plan to follow that up with tomatoes, peppers, squash, and maybe some cucumbers. I also have plans for a small potted herb garden to sit on the back patio. I have dreams of making up, say, a sweet batch of pasta sauce and just popping out the back door and cutting off a little basil to add to the sauce. Seriously, how cool would that be?
Being outside and working in the garden reminded me a lot of being a kid, before I got all caught up in this whole "being clean" and "worms are icky" frame of mind. As I first began, I was icked out by the bugs and the worms and the dirt. Within about ten minutes, though, I was picking worms up and flicking them aside, digging into the dirt with my bare hands to get at some deeply rooted weeds, and generally having a blast. On my first day, I spent over two hours outside clearing a space that's about 6 feet by 3 feet -- small but just right for a starter garden. I was working hard, in the zone... and then I stood up and my body instantly was filled with pain. Pulling weeds for 2+ hours is a workout, friends; don't let anyone ever tell you any differently! The day before, I'd spent a half hour doing a "Disco Abs" workout and that was a walk in the park compared to how I felt after gardening. Add to that the tramp stamp of a sunburn that ended up on my lower back -- the perfect strip of red between where my pants sat and where my shirt rode up a bit. Just a tiny bit painful. And then there are the tiny cuts from pulling weeds (I can't stand working with gloves) and the bruised palms from the shovel . . . I'm a mess!
But I'm a happy mess because I feel like I have accomplished a lot. I love looking out my patio window and seeing this patch of dirt just waiting for some goodies to be planted. I love thinking about the tasty items I can make with the veggies I'll be growing. (SALSA!!) I love the feeling of connectedness I feel with the earth. Yeah, I know how trippy hippie that sounds. I'm a Phish-head; what do you expect?