In search of story

July 22.19



My poor beautiful tomato plant,

victim of its own vitality

lies helpless, hapless,

like my old Christmas tree.

Don’t tell me what I should do

or shouldn’t.

Doing isn’t feeling.

I tried but couldn’t,

and that is everything.



If you are a gardener, dear reader, you know that lessons grow in the garden, some of them dismal. Yesterday a rambunctious wind announced the coming of today’s blessed, cooling rain. I tried desperately to right my gorgeous Beefsteak, but my two hands and two feet were not enough. And the thunder growled.  It was with real sadness I had to abandon the rescue. If you are a gardener, you understand the feeling. It isn’t about what to DO.

10 thoughts on “July 22.19

  1. That is indeed painful. It leaves one with the thought of fried green tomatoes?

    • Thanks for understanding, Shirah. I do have to chuckle at the suggestion of fried green tomatoes, which is a very good one, not just for itself but for the association with a family memory: my dad reminisced wistfully about his mother’s green tomato jam, and his mother steadfastly denied ever making such a thing, and said Dad was off his rocker. Needless to say, it became family sport to mention grandma’s green tomato jam. I guess I should look for that recipe! Thanks for reminding me!

  2. Say it isn’t so. 😦 I spent a while outside yesterday adding extra stakes and tying mine up because they’d doubled in size, but then I also have a barn full of supplies. 🙂 Good thing there is always the farmer’s market.

    • Yes, this poor tomato is the reason God gave us farmers’ markets! It is true that I do not have stakes at the ready, but it is also true that my hands and wrists just don’t cope well any more. I have not yet adjusted to not being able to do things the way I used to. Heavens, there was a time I could hold a kid in each arm with a bag of groceries in one hand while opening a door with the other hand. And I’m sure I had a basket of laundry balanced on my head. Well, OK, maybe not the laundry, but you know what I mean.

  3. It might still grow, just horizontally, but I’m very sorry that it won’t be growing the way you wanted. It was such a fine one too. Is it the same one that had the red one on it not long ago?

    Are we to assume your father mistook chutney for jam? Or perhaps your grandmother made greengage jam and it looked like green tomatoes? I’m the same way about lady daleks. I am sure I remember them but apparently I don’t, because there have never been any, which is strange as I even know what they looked like. They had flat tops.

    • Thank you for improving my mood. It will not surprise you, I think, to know that I hadn’t the slightest notion what a dalek was, assuming immediately it was some form of botanical or entomological life, let alone a LADY dalek. Google informed me, of course, and I fell off my chair laughing. So you encountered lady daleks somewhere even though they do not exist. Why not? It makes more sense than a lot of what I read in the news these days!

      Yes, this poor tomato plant is the same one that had the lovely red one. I think you may well be right that it could keep on growing. I spent this evening tearing various tendons in my hands trying to get the thing righted, but I found my vocabulary inadequate.

      As to Dad, I don’t think chutney ever came his way when he was a boy. Greengage jam, maybe. I had a sneaking hunch he was right but I wouldn’t have wanted to tell him that!

      • It must be very frustrating not to be able to right it and I’m sorry you hurt yourself trying. You asked for no advice and perhaps it is too late in any case, but if you could heap some soil over the exposed roots, nature might just find a way.

        The fact that the wider world insists there were no lady daleks does not completely persuade me I was dreaming. It could have been one of the tapes the BBC lost over the years.

      • (Hastily adds) I was meaning if you had a bag of loose soil, I was not encouraging more digging.

  4. Thank you for digging in with me (so to speak). There is pain in my hands, yes, but the greater pain comes from losing this gorgeous plant, so your thoughts and sympathy on a new day help me re-think an attack.

    You are very right about “the wider world.” What does it know? I will always be convinced there was an alternate ending to “The Wizard of Oz” because I know I saw it, but no one else ever did. I think that to see what no one else sees is a requirement for gardeners, yes?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.