Sunday, March 9, 2014

This Week Last Year

This week last year I harvested five pounds of baby lettuce, two pounds of spinach, two pounds of hakurei turnips, and two pounds of arugula. I miss the greenhouse—the one that used to be heated with an outdoor wood furnace until the fire went out and the heating element froze up, and then came the zero-digit temps followed by all that snow so why bother even fixing it, not that we were going to anyway. This week last year the daffodils were in bud. And on a sunny day, I would walk into the 70° greenhouse air and breathe in the sweet scent of rebirth.  

Next week this year I will set up my seedling trays and my heat mats and get out my adjustable grow lights, of which I have two, perch them on the card table that was once upon a life a wedding gift and the setting for rubber after rubber of bridge well into the night. But that was another time. That was another life. There are slashes in the tabletop, and fissures between partners who communicated competently using the conventions of Goren, but not so well otherwise.

This week this year white snow weighs heavily on tan grasses. The greenhouse is cold and the spinach has traveled from California in plastic baskets. It is not a good week for gardening. It is a good week to play with letter tiles on a Scrabble board and eat chicken satay and spinach salad, even if the spinach is from California.  

This week next year I want to see daffodil buds. I want my gains to have outnumbered my losses, and my children and their children to have found a road of their choosing, a sunny road that smells of fresh baby greens. I want to be dancing every dance. I want to be saying yes and taking chances. I want eternal spring.

Where we will be this week next year no one can predict. There will be daffodils, somewhere. There will be joyful dancing and sweet baby turnips. Somewhere.

Important note to subscribers: My new website and blog is up and running. As my subject matter leaned more and more toward understanding the mysteries of the natural world, I decided to create a new place for these ramblings. I will still write about gardening, but not as often. You can sign up for my new blog at


  1. Hi Pam! I'm happy to have found your blog once again and look forward to checking out your new one. I have fond memories of working in a warm greenhouse with you this time of year (and earlier!). Winter has been brutal in Kentucky too, putting our houses and pipes to the test! I am ignoring the last bit of snow on the ground and this afternoon I'll be cutting some forsythia to force inside. I have tulips and daffodils up but no blooms yet. Nice to see you blogging again, I'll be checking back soon.-Abby (Poulette)

  2. Hi Abby! Hasn't your life changed since those days! I didn't realize you moved to Kentucky (though it seemed predestined). Such a beautiful baby -- which doesn't surprise me one bit.