I fall out of love with my house. I get discontent with my indoor hobbies. I get so antsy that even the cats avoid me.
I'll be better soon. The nights are finally above freezing and soon I'll be able to get outside.
When I bought my house, I was happy that it had a front garden and a decent sized back yard. Not that I had a clue what to do with dirt, but in my mind, a house had a yard. Knowing what to do with it would come later. And it did.
The garden used to be ornamental, then a few years ago, things began to shift. It became less about how it looked and more about what was in it. I grew a few tomatoes. I made my first batch of pesto from backyard basil.
It snowballed, and last year, it went over the top. (I think it was the garlic that did it). This past winter was rough; I'm sure I lost quite a few plants. That doesn't bother me anymore because a dead plant is just an opportunity to plant something new. The veggie seedling order has gone in to Natural Gardening Co. : 6 tomatoes (3 plum; 3 regular), 3 peppers (bell, ancho and sweet frying), a cucumber, a zucchini, 3 more strawberry plants. They will keep company with the lettuces I will pick up at the farmer's market, along with a few container-sized tomatoes and a thicket of basil. Somehow, I also have a load of seeds to plant. There will be salad growing in the cracks of the sidewalk at this point.
All this in addition to 4 blueberries, 1 red currant, 1 black currant, 1 gooseberry, 4 strawberry plants, a rosemary bush, perennial thyme and sage, potted mint and lemon balm, a bed of garlic and some self-seeded arugula that's already coming up. I'm also coveting a fig that's volunteered in Mario's sister's back yard, but I don't think I have the space.
I'm not sure when it all happened, but in 11 years I've gone from an apartment-dweller who killed house plants and couldn't cook very well (but who sewed adequately, if infrequently) to a homeowner who gets a little crazy if she can't dig in the dirt, who can make her own bread and cheese, who can preserve all the stuff grown in the back yard, and who makes all her own clothes.
Who am I, and where did I come from? I didn't grow up around people who did any of these things. Matter of fact, I grew up around people who were happy they didn't have to do these things anymore. Like all the women in my family, my mom was an adequate cook, but it all came from cans (and later, the freezer). She sewed with resentment and creative profanity. Her gardening consisted of a few angry rosebushes and some bedraggled petunias. (However, she raised beautiful African violets on the windowsills - indoors).
Maybe it was because she and my aunts were one generation removed from the Depression, or not even. Maybe progress to them meant not having to do those things anymore. I don't know, and they're no longer around to ask.
A co-worker told me the other day that with my skills, I'd have survived very well during the Great Depression. I don't think they're bad skills to have these days, either. And I love knowing just how little we need to purchase outside of our own home - with the way prices are these days, I'll work every Depression-era skill I can find.