Friday, January 28, 2005

Foaming at the Trowel

I don't know how else to say it: the local meteorologists around Dallas are either really stupid, or just plain cruel.

Their weekend forecasts are routinely, miserably off, usually in a bad way. They go from happily predicting a sunny weekend with temps in the 60s to overcompensating with proclamations of unending clouds and enduring showers. They are like the over-protective parent who paints a beautiful false picture of the world, then crumbles into apocalyptic hysterics the first time you skin your knee.

Well, maybe that's a bit drastic. Can you tell I had gardening plans for the weekend, only to have Mother Nature throw a rusty trowel in the schedule?

It's unnerving, really. I feel so...unappreciative of the fact that I live and garden in zone 7B (or 8a, depending on which map you use). I mean, after all, I've already started tomato seeds. Our last freeze date is only six weeks away. What the heck am I griping about?

I'll tell you why I'm griping. I am a gardener. I belong outside, with the sun on my neck, compost caked on my knees, and a mattock in my hand. I want to look over my shoulder and see a curious mockingbird waiting for me to unearth a tasty grub for him. I want to pull aside some mulch and find new growth on my Orange Meadowbrite Echinacae. I want to -- once again -- run out of decent gardening gloves because I've dirtied or poked out the fingers on all of the ones I have.

Most of all, I just want to be outside. Every year, winter seems harder to endure. The enticing, colorful gardening catalogs that fill my mailbox are just a cruel reminder of all the fun stuff I could be planting. Of course I realize the need for winter, for dormancy, in plants.

Maybe it'd be easier if people went dormant every winter. If we all just got fat and hibernated for a few months. Heck, I've got a headstart on that, considering the extra 7 lbs. I put on around Christmas.

What would my boss say if I announced I was taking off the next six weeks to, you know, just sort of snooze? Hmmm....

Nah. I'm sure I'd spend the time just sitting around the house, gazing out the window, wistfully wishing I could be outside gardening.

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