So, seriously, I don't know what is different this year. But I guess God is reminding us that evidence of His creation is all around . . . even all around North Philly. I mean, wow, hedgehogs, robins, little snakelike lizards, slugs, snails, house finch, squirrels (argh!), termites . . . we're just teeming with life over here. It is very comforting.
Also comforting is the evidence of thriving green beans, strawberries, zucchinis, and tomatoes. The green beans are doing well enough that I spaced them out a little and added a row against the fence in our front yard. Grow, babies, grow! Two of the raspberry vines (out of three) turned out to be, well, dead, thus prompting further rebate from the online store.
Moral: Online shopping works better for non-living things.
Mom brought me a healthy raspberry vine to put the mail order survivor to shame. And she brought a rhubarb plant. Now I can really connect with my ancestral roots . . . I mean, does anyone you know still make rhubarb sauce? I may actually have to look into freezing spaghetti sauce if all of my tomato plants thrive. Two are looking pretty peaked. (I must confess I had to look online to find the spelling of that word, meaning sickly. I guess I could have just written sickly, but that would be to deny my rich heritage of Pennsylvania Dutch/Lancaster expressions.) They do not seem to be perking up despite many a worried or angry look I have sent their way.
This tempts me to reclaim some of the healthy plants I put in my neighbor's flower bed, because a) she'd never notice, b) hello, I garden for her for free, and c) I don't know if she'll even eat all of the tomatoes she's going to get.
But I won't because a) I was raised not to do things like that, b) I have a huge guilt complex despite years of learning of how God loves me no matter what (and I mean, I guess it isn't very loving to God to steal back your neighbor's tomato plants), and c) she gets way better light than I do so they'll do better in her flower bed. I'm sure if I really need a tomato later (which is unlikely, I do still have 14 pretty healthy plants), I could ask for one.
Anyway, the cantaloupes are not looking too hot. But let's not talk about them. It's too important to me that they do well.
And that's all this 5th generation farmer has to say about that.