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Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Mud slinging

This week, our childcare, otherwise known as Grandma Vi, is taking a much deserved vacation.

Jim and I are patching our schedules together, and I am working half days Monday through Thursday to cover the absence. I LOVE hanging out at home with Madge in the morning. She gets a bottle, I get my coffee, we hang out and get our blood going with some floor play and chase-crawling. We play the piano. I put her in the baby jogger and get a nice run in by 9:00 a.m., we go home and have something to eat, she takes a nap. I love it.

While Maggie was napping, I decided to go out and get a little weeding done. We are fortunate enough to have a pretty decent sized back yard. I planted corn, yes, corn, this year. Beans and tomatoes too. I forget every year what a battle maintaining a garden can be. I start out thinking "If only I can get out there and get the garden bed dirt ready." Then it's "If only I can get these seeds planted." Then it's "If only I can get out there and water." Then the bunnies get into the beans and bite them with their sharp little teeth all the way down to the short little woody stems. Then it's "if only I can get out there and plant the beans AGAIN." So I battled the beans and the bunnies and the weather all while simultanouesly raising a baby and working full time.

So now, mid July, we are into a full on weed battle. I am not talking pulling a dandelion or two. I am not talking something a little round-up will cure. I am talking full on motherfucking weed warfare. Those little, and not so little bastards are trying to take over my garden and demolish and destroy all the beautiful little vegetables I planted and have struggled to maintin for the last two months. Suffice it to say it's been an uphill battle. I get home from work, battle the dusk-loving mosquitos and pull those damn weeds out, swearing all the way and swatting mosquitos in frustration.

This morning, while Maggie was napping, I ran the sprinkler over my little cornfield. I went back to check on the water level of the soil, and realized that this crabgrass type stuff had TAKEN OVER. By taken over, I mean that in between rows of corn you could not even see dirt. The grass is nearly as tall as the corn. I went in for battle.

I start pulling weeds. I grasp them by the base, handfulls at a time. Huge clumps of weed and root and mud. I smash them together like cymbals, loosening the dirt from the roots. The mud flies. I fling the limp, dying weed carcasses over my shoulder. The more I pull, the more clear it becomes to me how owerwhelming this job is. I'll be damned if I leave their dying weed-carcasses with dirt that was meant for this garden. I pull at a faster pace. I start to sweat and pant. I think to myself "OUT you little bastards! I didn't work this hard so that you could have a home! OUT!!" I move forward grasping and clashing the weeds together. Chunks of mud are flinging into my eyes, onto my face, onto my legs. I launch dying weeds in a blur over my shoulder. "DIE FREELOADERS! This garden was painstakingly prepared and tended for CORN you little fuckers! CORN I SAID!! I swat at mosquitos, leaving streaks of mud on my legs and shoulders. My feet are no longer feet but enormous clusters of mud attached to my legs. I continue pulling at a frenzied pace. "I don't struggle to juggle raising my daughter, working full time, and keeping this Godforsken garden SO YOU COULD GET A FREE RIDE MOTHERFUCKERS!!!!!" They are no longer just weeds. They have become like, the MAN. They are the people from Cingulair who charged me twice and refused to refund my money! They are the people from Expedia who tacked on a hudred bucks for changing the date on a plane ticket! They are the Athletic club who keeps charging me because, well I haven't cancelled my membership! They are all the annoying fees, charges, and bullshit excuses for separating me and my life's work from my hard earned money and my precious time. "You wanna peice of me? You think you can live here and starve the corn I carefully planted? You think you can just move in and wreck my plans? You got another thing coming! You messed with the wrong lady!!!! BEEEYYYAAATTCCCHHHEEESSS!!!!!!!"

I stand back, panting. Sweat trickling down my back. I look at the enormous mounds of dead weeds. Piles of them. I walk to the hose. The water starts out warm and turns ice cold. I rinse the mud off of my legs and arms and face. It feels good on my mosquito bites. My body temperature drops. I walk across the yard to the backdoor and into the house.

I hear Maggie stirring. I go to her room and find her standing in her crib smiling at me ear to ear. I smile back and pick her up. Mommy won her battle. At least for today.


Blogger JB said...

Like you, every spring I think it’s a good idea to do a “little planting,” and, also like you, every year I completely forget what pain in the ass it’s going to be. Because, in no time at all, a little planting becomes A LOT of work. Between the watering, pruning, weeding, the spraying of insecticides, and the stringing up climbers, I end up devoting a large chunk of my morning to my plants.

But, I do think there’s something really satisfying about planting. There must be, or why would we keep doing it? Maybe we just want to win the battle with weeds, or maybe it’s about our mastery over something. Hmm. I’ll have to think about that.

BTW, I love your description of pulling the weeds, which reminds me of years of pulling weeds as a kid. We grew a large family garden every year and it was my chore to keep it weed-free. I used to call them “freeloaders,” too (among other things). :)

6:49 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

Bwaa-ha-ha! I love the way you took your frustrations out on the little freeloaders!!

7:37 PM  

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