July 31, 2011


who gardens on a beach?
no ticks.

who gardens on a beach?
because i can!

who refers to weeding as gardening?
because i lack a green thumb.

my big ol' pile of weeds

we were the first summer holiday visitors to stay at our friend's cabin on whidbey island (at the end of june). the cabin's "front yard" consists of a little man made sandy area before it then leads directly on to the God-made beach and ocean. the little front yard is where the fire pit is for cooking delectable chemical treats such as s'mores and hot dogs.

this year, the area was super overgrown with weeds. very dried up, dead weeds. seeing as this area surrounds the fire pit, it made me more than a little paranoid that one spark from the fire could set the whole area ablaze. so i started pulling up weeds...my initial plan was to just clear a safe radius around perimeter of the fire pit. uh huh. famous words from a perfectionist. like i could leave something half done - especially an unsightly mess such as this was.

so i weeded

i weeded for 2 days...
those stupid dead weeds just would not go down without a fight - they had a life and will all their own.
they just kept multiplying...eventually i had to concede defeat and "let it go" for my own mental health.

weeding from sun up til sun down

before i make it sound like i was working all alone, a solitary, shadowy figure highlighted on the horizon, i must acknowledge that my family labored by my side for SOME of the time. we all kind of got into a weeding groove and you know, as weird as it sounds, it was fun...it honestly was. it's rare for us to all be outside in the fresh air and doing something physical.

"air" rake

during our trip LAST year, parker was so profoundly ill, he rarely was able to venture outside. he spent most of last year's holiday either on the couch or sitting or lying on a lounge beside the campfire. this year, he still spent 2 full days inside on the couch but he also was able to spend quite a bit of time PLAYING outside...er, well, when i wasn't "making" him pull weeds.

last summer, was the first summers since 2007, where i was "well enough" to be fairly active. last year, i would have had the energy required to go on a murderous weed pulling rampage however my neuropathy/nerve pain was still excruciating and doing anything that required any repetitive upper body movements would send it sky high (even a task as simple as changing the sheets on a bed severely exacerbated it). so to be able to not only feel well enough to take on something as arduous as weed pulling but to actually be ABLE to do it is a very big deal. something to celebrate even! and even better than that? i was so super sore after wards - sore, as in how any "normal" person would be after overdoing it in the garden. profound. i'd welcome that kind of muscle fatigue and soreness any day.

avery's sea shell garden

while i wasn't able to do any gardening last year, i was going for walks everyday. (did that this year too). on one of my walks last year, i spotted the most amazing blue flowers ever. they were surrounded by much green vegetation and were such a vibrant shade of blue that they easily caught my eye. i paused to get a closer look and was shocked to see they had this incredible "spotted" patterning of blue, green, blue, green running along the whole length of their stems. they reminded me of something you would see in a dr seuss book...

it was the most unusual and incredible blue wonder to behold.

i raced back to the cabin, to tell the fam and i insisted that they just HAD to see them. i had been on a lengthy walk that day, so the blue wonders were quite a far distance from the cabin. far enough that we actually had to drive to the spot. the kids and graham were less than impressed to have to pile into the van to go see some 'stupid flowers'.

i just ignored their grumbling and guaranteed them that it would be well worth the time and effort.

"they're incredible!" i enthusiasitcally chortled, "just you wait! they are a natural wonder!"

my blue wonders

we drove to the area. even from the vehicle, their vibrant and unusual blue hue was easy to spot.
upon gaining a visual, my family's grumblings were quickly replaced with "ohhhhing and ahhhhing!"

"i told you guys it would be worth it!" i triumphantly huffed.

everyone hopped out of the van to get a closer look. always mindful of ticks, we carefully edged towards the vegetation, trying to keep a safe distance between us and it. graham daringly leaned in to get as close a look as possible

"there is no way those are real." he snorted sarcastically.

"what do you mean, they're not real?!" i indignantly sniffed, "of course, they're real, you ninny! how could they not be? do you think someone 'planted' fake flowers in the middle of the forest?"

"i'm telling you...that is not naturally occurring vegetation." he insisted. now the kids were starting to voice his doubts. " yeah, mom, i don't think those are real."

"that's ridiculous. of course they're real." i wanted to throttle them all.

graham reached in, grabbed the stem of one and snapped it in half
"stop!" i shouted, "what are you doing? you leave my blue wonders alone!"

the kids gathered around graham to investigate and examine my blue wonder. i mournfully peeked over the kid's heads to catch a glimpse of my now dead blue wonder lying in graham's murderous hands.
"i was right! they're not real." he gleefully chuckled. "they're spray painted!"

i silently gulped in dismay.
"that's ludicrous!"
i boasted with far more conviction than i felt "are you trying to actually propose the notion that someone came along and just randomly spray painted a couple of weeds on the side of a road?"

"nope, it's not random - it's called surveying and that someone is called a surveyor." they were all laughing at me now.

my blue wonders

i had a sinking feeling that he was probably right. but i wouldn't, couldn't, didn't want to acknowledge that.
"well, how in the world do they have that intricate blue and green patterning along their stems then?"
i brazenly challenged his surveying spray paint theory.

"they must have been sprayed when they were small. evidently their stems must grow out in a very unique way." he explained

"Uh huh! i TOLD you they were unique!" i smugly announced, "you just said so yourself!"

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