Puttering

March 13, 2012 @ 6:05 pm | Filed under: Assorted and Sundry, Crows, Family, Gardening

Beauty, tangled and blurred: this is pretty much my life these days. Feverishly working, then wandering out to the garden where I’ll find myself kneeling, gazing, actually watching seeds grow. The radishes, especially. We’ll mark their height and one hour later, they’re taller.

But this morning something had eaten three of them to nubby stems. So. Well. I’m in suspense about tomorrow. Will there be anything left?

“Mommy,” Rilla said earlier this week, “what’s that word for what we do in the garden? I think it starts with a P.”

“Um…putter?” I guess.

“Yes! Putter. Can we go out and putter together? In the garden?”

Can we ever! Music to my ears, little girl. We slip outside together almost every morning and crouch and study. Carrots, sprouted. Lettuces, thriving. Blueberry bushes, loaded with white bells. They were my Mother’s Day present from Scott last year—the year before that, it was my milkweed; he takes hints very well—and when we bought the two small bushes they were covered with blossoms, but almost every last one fell off from transplant shock. Or something. We got exactly three blueberries last year. This year, the plants have acclimated nicely and we have high hopes: perhaps we’ll get a bowlful. They’re little fairy bushes, after all, still tiny.

Rose talks to the mourning doves and they talk back. Me, I’ve got a relationship with a couple of wary crows. I toss bread crusts onto the patio roof and they eye me, heads cocked, from the telephone wire or the enormous Moreton Bay fig on the other side of the schoolyard fence. They wait until I walk away and busy myself in the opposite corner of the yard, and then they swoop. Mornings I neglect my part, they clack at me from the neighbor’s wall.

I’m teaching Wonderboy to fingerknit. It’s slow going; this fine motor work is difficult for him. That’s part of why we’re doing it, to help his fingers become more nimble. But also for the cuddle-up-close time, and the chatter. I’m greedy as a crow about moments like that.


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Comments

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  1. Oh my heart, the puttering. That’s what Joshua and I used to do in our yarden, from the time he was wee. **sigh** happy memories. Do you know, I’ve just has this flash — just seen you, years on down the road, puttering in the garden with your grandchildren. **blink** And just to proove how odd I am, I dreamt of you the other night. My children and I were visiting you and you and I were sitting and chatting on the couch and all of the children were mixing about, here and there. It was lovely.

  2. I love that you have a child who talks to doves. Tech Boy does that — goes out in the garden and coos at them, in a weird whistle-y way, and they answer him. They’re convinced he’s one of their tribe.

    I want to putter. I cannot WAIT to garden again. Someone sent me a packet of basil seeds today, and I am going to pore over a gardening catalog. ::sigh::

  3. Oh, Ellie, I love both your visions! The garden full of grandchildren and the visit from you. πŸ™‚ Sitting and chatting while the children flit in and out—that’s pretty much my ideal day.

    Tanita, I love to think of your sweetie chatting with the doves! There’s a scene in one of my Charlotte books where Charlotte’s little sister is cooing to a dove and it’s talking back. That’s because my Jane was doing it right outside my window as I sat writing one day. πŸ™‚

  4. Puttering is a great term!
    I love the image of you cuddling up while your son finger-knits. Our middle boy has just learned how and we have spider’s webs of long, long pieces wound around our house most days.

  5. As soon as I saw the word “putter” I thought of the wonderful Mr. Putter and Tabby books. πŸ™‚ I’ve always loved that word.

    I’m not getting much puttering time in my life these days, nor garden beauty, so I am thankful beyond words for your posts and pictures. I feel greedy as a crow for those snippets. Thank you so much for sharing!