Stimulating My Senses


When Karyn convinced me to start our Grandpa Memorial Garden, I didn’t think it would have such a powerful impact on so many parts of me. I didn’t expect it to be such a whole-body experience, aside from the sore muscles (and lo there have been some sore fucking muscles). I figured we’d build some raised beds, fill them with soil, plant some stuff, watch it grow, hope it didn’t die, and maybe get a few tomatoes.

But, as it is with any living thing, there are little miracles every day. New life sprouts up, or plants that looked like they weren’t going to make it are suddenly perky again, and I’m in awe. Strawberries that weren’t ripe yesterday are bright red and juicy and warm and dripping down my face today. Seconds after planting our twenty-third tomato plant (yes, 23rd!), a ladybug landed on it, and the motto, “If we build it, they will come,” became ours as Karyn ran to grab my phone so we could take a picture of her.

Then there’s the basil. Oh. My. God. The. Basil. We need an intervention or an inexpensive source for pine nuts and olive oil, because there’s going to be some pesto happening up in here. And caprese salads. And spaghetti sauce. Every time we hit the nursery we found yet another variety of basil we just had to have. Noses stuck in plants, we’d end up buying 3-4 more varieties until we reached our current total of forty-four basil plants. Totally reasonable. Right? We do not have a problem. Besides, we can’t have those tomatoes getting lonely.

You all may want to stock up on Mason jars for us. I have a feeling there’s going to be a need for some, and not just for cocktails.

The other thing the garden has done for me is get me outside every day. I dance like a freak in the garden (sometimes there's even music playing). Because really? Why wouldn't you? I sit outside and have a glass of wine in the evening with Karyn and the kids come hang out. We have impromptu barbecues with things we pick, already. And when my muscles are sore and I'm covered in dirt at the end of the day, it feels phenomenal to be able to see that I've accomplished something before I slip into the bath and let it all melt away.