On tears

I did something yesterday that I never do. I cried.

Yes, I am normally very much a tough cookie, and am not easily given over to much sentimentality or, indeed, to tears of any kind. My first reaction is usually anger. It’s a wave, usually, of red-eyed steaminess that, with much social grace and coaching I have tamed to…well, at least a deep intake of breath before I blow my top.

And gardens are nothing to cry over, in the big scheme of things, but…

…the propane gas guy HAD to drive right over the kitchen herb garden yesterday. And I cried. I cried A LOT.

What the hell is THIS about, I wondered?

I guess it started with having to get our well replaced. I had to move a whole bed of perennials in order for that to happen. Have they moved back? No. Has the bed been reaugmented with lots of organic matter and new soil? No. Is the front yard still a clay-filled unsightly mess? Yes, why, yes it is!

So, what’s with the propane guy? Is the driveway all of a sudden not big enough for him? Well, welcome, friends, to the joys of country living, where all services (electric, gas, water, sewer, trash, internet) are YOUR responsibility!!! There IS no city or township or county system to plug into. Propane is only (thankfully) used to heat up the hot water heater, and the dryer, which now sits unused. So our propane tank, a small lovely looking R2D2 thing outside the basement door, sprung a leak. You would walk outside and think: ‘did something die under the back porch? By Dog it stinks out here.’ So the whole tank had to be replaced, and he had to drive a big truck back there and boom the old tank out, new tank in. This required that I first remove the chicken fencing, remove the decorative fence around the garden, take one of the clotheslines down, and then go inside and cry.

(I should say I harbor absolutely no malice toward our propane guy. He is, though maybe 10 years younger, and sporting a ‘I Heart Jesus’ keychain, a dead ringer for Michael Moore. He is actually quite a sweet man, and he felt horrible about the garden.)

What’s with the tears? I guess it is because I have absolutely no time to redo what has been undone. The greenhouse is only now just enclosed, the other gardens need to be put to rest, the compost needs to be made, leaves raked, chicken coop windows reinstalled, etc. etc. etc. No time for extras. So thus, I cry. It’s the overwhelming hopelessness that I remember as a child: I have no power over this situation, these tears say. It’s not a comfortable feeling.

14 responses to “On tears

  1. I can totally understand crying about this. The plants are living things that have been uprooted! And I’ll bet they looked gorgeous in their set up, with the fence and all. Can you put some of them in pots for the winter? Or was it a huge honking herb garden?

  2. Oh El, I’m so sorry about your herb garden! Was there anything you wanted to change about it? Maybe you can turn this into an opportunity, next spring, of couse. xoxo

  3. Lisa at Greenbow

    You poor girl. I don’t blame you for crying.

  4. Oh, rats! I’m so sorry. Is it tire tracks through the garden? Or is it totally gone? Because herbs can be pretty resilient, can’t they? I’m sorry–trying to be very hopeful for you. Sometimes a cry is just the remedy to a crappy day.

    If it makes you feel any better (which is doubtful, but a girl can try) I haven’t raked a leaf yet, made any compost, mucked the chickens, put any of the big gardens to bed, put away my bamboo or mowed the lawn in weeks. My yard is a disaster.

  5. Wish I was close…I would help with the work…but since there are many miles between us all I can do is be understanding.

    Tears can be cleasing – so don’t fret about them.

  6. Man, well that’s a whole lotta not good. I am so sorry. I am having some of that same feelings. We are getting ready to move from our home and I have to leave all my hard work behind. I just wish I could pack it all up and take it with me.

  7. Gosh, I am so sorry El. I know well that overwhelming helpless feeling. I shall cry with you.

  8. Oof. Not cool, Mr. Propane Dude. I’m so sorry, El.

    It’s always something, isn’t it? Ah well, you can only get so much done in a year’s time. Hopefully the damage is superficial?

  9. I’m trying to work up some deep, philosophical words about this mess, but all I can say is I’m so sorry.

  10. Hi El, I’ve been lurking on your blog for a while but now I have to come out of lurkdom to offer cyber-hugs for the loss of your herbs. On of my daughters recently made “soup” out of my home-germinated and lovingly-tended-over-many-weeks heirloom lettuce seedlings, so I feel your pain ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Hi El,

    Gah! This is not good about the herbs. Will it make you feel any better to know that wherever you decide to replant and try again they will no doubt take to it quickly? Meh – probably not. But maybe the new herb garden will be more logical or beneficial in some other way that the first?

    And I’m with the others here on the crying. Give yourself a break and purge it out. It’s alright.

  12. Anon, it was a huge honking herb garden. So I think the damage is only marginal.

    Angie, thanks for turning lemons into lemonade! I’m always moving things around, or scheming about it, but really, that was the ONE garden that I thought was okay as-is.

    Lisa: Thank you! (sniff!)

    Kelly: You’re right, herbs are rather resilient. I don’t mind, for example, the supposedly nonspreading mint getting smooshed. But like you, there was so much OTHER stuff to do out there, and with me feeling panicky about Thanksgiving and work and all that I was just extremely bummed out.

    Amelia, I certainly WOULD put you to work, should you feel inclined…but believe me, knowing you guys are out there and are sympathetic is just as much help ๐Ÿ™‚

    Frugalmom: have you packed anything up to take with you? It’s a tough time to move, so my heart goes out to you.

    Jules: Crying myself lends me loads of empathy for my daughter when she’s in a rare crying jag. I try to let her know she has some power over what’s ailing her. Now, if I could turn that back on myself…

    Liz: Somehow I always think I have time to do EVERYTHING, supergardener-style. I just don’t like banging into a wall! Ah. Always something.

    CC: Isn’t it WEIRD? This isn’t supposed to be a navel-gazing blog. Where’s the food? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Crazy Mumma: Thanks for de-lurking. I know how you feel, kids-wise, which is why I always plant WAY more than I could use…some for her, some for the bugs, some for the chickens, and we’ll eat the leftovers!

    Gigi: I know, it’s just so silly. Which is why it was so weird, bawling my head off. I did give in to it, and still feel pretty lousy, but that just means I will have lots to do today outside in the COLD.

  13. Robin (Bumblebee)

    Well, I am just catching up to the sad drama. It’s a tough time of year to lose so much. I would weep too.

    –Robin (Bumblebee)

  14. Robin: it was HIGH drama, I tell you! (Who needs Broadway, when I can kvetch and throw a hissy fit about a flattened garden bed.)

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