Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

My daughters and I -- we have a floating Mother's Day celebration. It's often difficult to get us together on the designated day. I'm out of town, or, as in this year -- they're out and about. On the east coast, last I checked. So we stall it a little. And, too, I'm still flush with birthday celebrations. I can wait.

But this doesn't mean that I do not think of this Sunday as somehow mother-centered. The theme comes up. It's in my head. And when I talk to my own mom, or to my girls, we treat it as a day that truly does stand for something. We acknowledge it. We wouldn't think of not sending Mother's Day greetings.

But from the point of view of farmette work, it's just another day of intense gardening. It's warm. Too warm, Ed would comment. Perfect, from my perspective.

(at sunrise)

(a morning drink)

(it's Scotch's turn)

A porch breakfast. I tell Ed to snap a photo. You know, because it's Mother's Day.


And I tell the chickens to behave. I feel like I'm their designated mother. They dutifully leave three eggs for me, right on schedule.


Many, many years ago, working in the garden on Mother's Day was a real treat. A time to indulge my preoccupation with perennial flowers. These days, of course, I merely continue the work of yesterday and the day before.

And though I do pause to take in the heady smell of plum trees in bloom...


...and I smile as I watch the chickens attack a raspberry cane (be my guest! we have millions of them!)...


...I have to admit, when the time comes to work on the raspberry fields, I approach the task with a big sigh. Both Ed and I are so sick of this project that the digging, lifting and heaving seem especially difficult, draining, never ending.

It would be terrific if I could say we're almost done. We're not. I'd estimate we have a good seven days' work left. I only wish Ed hadn't reminded me that if the field isn't maintained, it'll turn into one huge area of weeds again. Fussing over flower beds is rewarding. Raspberry fields? Only mildly so.

Still, by dumping a lot of chips, we'll be keeping the weeds to a minimum. Let's hope I'm motivated to maintain the field for years on end. If not -- well, we gave it a push in the right direction.

In other Mother's Day news -- we did go to a gardening center to replace three of my many many lavender bushes. These guys had a rough winter and though most survived, I had a few casualties.

And then there is the matter of dinner. If ever a meal demonstrated what it means to be a mother, I think mine was a classic. I had told Ed I'd make chili for a couple of days. We have several bags of last year's tomatoes in the freezer and thoughts of planting new seedlings soon made me want to hurry up and use up last year's batch. But I lost my focus. In tracking my daughters' travels back from the east coast (such a motherly task!), I noted that they left their destination on time. Good! Maybe they'll beat the storms in Chicago. I chopped tomatoes and clicked on the website informing me of the progress of their flight. Until suddenly I got the dreaded screen telling me that there was no more information. Please call this number if you want to know more.

I call, chopping tomatoes all the while. A recording tells me their flight has been diverted. Why? Recordings don't answer whys. I chop more tomatoes. I click, call, click call. They are now in South Bend, Indiana. What now? Click, chop, call.

As I write this, I am able to piece together what must have happened. Bad weather, small plane, diversion. Ed asks -- why are you so intense about it? It's not as if flying is unsafe.  Well now, mothers don't turn off their tracking minds just because something is "safe." Mothers go into the heads of their children. They know that those children will be anxious about getting home on time for work, for husbands and fiances. When their children are (ostensibly) anxious, mothers are anxious. (I write about mothers and not father s because, well, it's Mother's Day.)

I chopped up so many frozen tomatoes tonight (calling the update line, watching radar maps, clicking, calling, clicking) that we have enough chili to for dinners through at least Thursday. Think of it as Mother's Day chili.

My daughters are on their final leg of their travels at last. The chickens are tucked and set for the night. Ed is scrubbing down the stove I managed to splatter with my distracted chili cooking. All's right with the world. For now. Today. On this Mother's Day.