By Wayne Litke
I have to admit that my emotions are all mixed up these days, and for a man that is a sad admission and something that is difficult to say. It seems as if my state of mind is constantly fluctuating, almost as if it is controlled by the weather which has definitely been unsettled lately.
I put my jacket on three times and took it off three times as my wife and I worked on a friend’s garden on Sunday. Sunny skies clouded over and then rain began to fall, but stopped after a few minutes. The process was repeated, but never resulted in enough rain to settle the dust. It was like Mother Nature was messing with our minds. I have heard it said that Father Time can be cruel to people as they age, but Mother Nature can be far worse and has been known to inflict terrible suffering on an entire region or group of people. There is no question in my mind whose good side I want to stay on.
Getting back to me and my issues, this spring has been tough on my mental health and it’s due to mixed messages I have been receiving. However, when I expressed my concerns to my partner, she told me it was in my head. She is correct of course for three reasons: firstly she is a woman, secondly she is my wife and thirdly only she knows how to sow the seeds of confusion in my brain. I caught on to her tactics the last time she read my mind. Upon being questioned, Angela confessed and said, “It’s a frightening thing when I actually think like you.”
She only touched the outer fabric of my mind and the poor woman doesn’t realize the depth of thought and deep layers of reasoning that are processed every second in my brain. Descending through all the psycho babble and defensive walls that were erected to protect me in my childhood we come to the source of my current emotional turmoil – our garden. Angela is so possessive she actually filed a land claim and soon the legal ramblings will begin. Her garden (also referred to as the G-spot by the millennial generation which abbreviates everything) is actually a place I enjoy, but seldom get to spend any time there.
Readers may remember that I was banished from my wife’s garden last year, so I built a couple of garden boxes for myself. However, she quickly took control of them and did the same this year. She has a real green thumb and does a better job growing things than I do, but to my defence I am relegated to soil preparation and lawn care. However, she did loan me a few pots for my plants, but kept the nicest ones for herself. What’s with that?
But it doesn’t end with the garden and food production. My suggestions regarding the front yard flower garden are always shot down and my mental capacity is often called into question during the process.
A couple of shrubs died last year due to a lack of water, so now Angela wants to install a drip irrigation system and she informed me it would be wonderful if it was on a timer. I gave in to her suggestion and purchased a watering can and an alarm clock for my wife, but she didn’t see the correlation and got upset with what she called a lack of thoughtfulness on my part. Did she forget that the alarm clock is going to be an inconvenience for me too?
I reminded her that if a person wants something done right, they should do it themselves and that includes installing a watering system for two stinking shrubs. The message did not sink in, but the watering can certainly did when it contacted my cheek. Needless to say we are now getting a drip irrigation system and automatic timer that will water two stinking shrubs.
What goes around comes around (so guys, watch out for half-full watering cans). I was reminded of that last week when a troubling sign showed up in Angela’s flower garden – a dead robin. We all know what that means. Yes, it’s a bad omen and the chickens are coming home to roost. Sure enough, frost hit and damaged her Bleeding Hearts and destroyed many clusters of grapes.
The dead robin remained where it died since my wife did not to ask me to remove it. I saw her psychological trap immediately and stayed clear of it. The bird stayed in its resting place for days while I relished in my intellect and made my own supper. The dead critter reminded me of friends whose cat died in the winter. Since their children could not conduct a burial, the critter was stored in the fridge freezer until spring.
The point of this whole column is to show readers they should not allow the actions of another person get them down, especially when it comes to territorial disputes or questions of stewardship. While a garden should be a peaceful place, mind games are played at every level and that includes the horticultural world. The seeds of deception can involve everything from planting to irrigation techniques to dead birds. To counter such mental pressure and release the stresses of spring I write or journal. Readers may want to try it and then submit their work to a newspaper for consideration.