I was expecting my mother, Vernita (otherwise known as Neeners) to say something like “Welcome home! Did you have a good trip?” when my husband and I dropped by her house after spending a week in California wine country. Instead, the first thing I heard was “We need to plant peas. And bring some hoes when you come back since I can’t find mine”. Then she happily took the bottle of Syrah we brought back for her, said she had to be off to a funeral, and roared out of the driveway. (Side note: She left the funeral before it was over because it was running too long to suit her. She had a luncheon appointment with her financial advisor, which took priority because: a) They were serving pizza, and b) “He is quite fetching”).
And so, a few days later, we arrived back at her house, laden with Bone Meal, Sugar Snap Pea seeds, a couple of packets of Sweet Pea seeds and some hoes.
My mother can be kind of bossy in the garden. No, she is bossy – let’s not sugarcoat our relationship. She was raised on a farm where just about all they ate was what they grew, so she knows what she’s talking about. You will see that during this growing season we will be engaged in a battle of wits over what is going to happen out there. I am at a distinct disadvantage since the garden is situated right behind her back yard and she can sneak out there any time she pleases and do whatever she wants. Don’t get me started on the mass Armenian Cucumber harvest debacle of 2014. She thought they were ready to be picked. I did not. I arrived the next day to find 50 cucumbers stacked on her back patio table. Armenian Cucumbers are huge – this was not pretty, but I’m trying to let it go.
While Dick was preparing the bed and putting down the Bone Meal, Neeners was busy getting her row straight. The soil was just right – not too damp and easy to work. The sun was warm and felt so good as we dug and hoed. We are having a very early spring this year, which is not optimum on a number of levels. However, it made for a perfect day for pea planting.
Once the row was straightened to her satisfaction, the peas were planted. She put up with following the instructions on the packet for about half of the row (spacing seeds one inch apart), and then decided that didn’t make sense because then she would have extra peas left over, so the second half of the row will probably be, um, quite thick. While intent on her task, she had plenty of time to instruct me to “be sure and get my face in the photo”. Will do.