Originally uploaded by norvegal
Today is my brother Eric's birthday. I wish I could drive down to Boston and surprise him with a giant chocolate cake. But Boston is five hours from here, and he has his hands full with two energetic little kids - and the last thing they need is their loopy aunt Clara showing up on the doorstep, getting the kids all riled up right before dinnertime. So I'm here instead, wishing him a most marvelous birthday.
It is also the first day of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, and for the first time in several years I am not there. This was intentional. I decided that I needed to be home. And it feels good.
I spent the day outside weeding and getting the garden fences in working order. These fences run around each of my two gardens. The one closest to the house has mostly kitchen things - lots of different herbs, including a spectacular bed of chives, plus lots and lots of lettuces, carrots, radishes, spinach, beets, and Swiss chard. The bigger one is down in the field, measures about 20 x 60, and has more stable things like strawberries, asparagus, raspberries, and sorrel, and that's where the onions, potatoes, peas, beans, kale, and tomatoes go.
The onions went in last week, and ever since I've had a low-grade anxiety about getting the fences fixed up so that my babies are fully protected. Nobody seems to go for the onions, but still I worry. I love my onions.
The gardens are protected with a plastic mesh fence that I secure with green metal posts. Pretty much any kind of fence would be better than this, but I've grown fond of it over the years. It is unobtrusive, relatively inexpensive, and it gets the job done. And I like the sound the wind makes as it blows through all those fine holes, a kind of whoooooooosh that magnifies the feeling of the wind.
Over time, though, this plastic mesh tends to break down and develop holes. Any sane person would tear the stuff down each fall and just replace it with brand spanking new plastic every spring, but I come from hearty New England stock. So, instead, each spring I take my giant ball of twine down into the gardens and slowly, patiently, some might say crazily patch all the little tears and holes. My fence is a veritable crazy quilt of patches and knots, and I'm just fine with that.
I like the concept of mending fences. Both literally and metaphorically. Fences protect you. Fences normally take quite a bit of time and care to create. They deserve to be tended, mended, and thanked for the noble task they perform so valiantly.
Having mended my own fences, I'm now off to bake a cherry pie.