Last year, when I was wedding planning, I experienced the strangest nightmares.
On some nights, I would dream that my wedding dress was bright blue, and I would sob into the blueberry-colored tulle. On other nights, the wedding would have started already and my Mom and I would be making trip after trip to hurriedly get our to-do list done while the guests chatted away nervously.
I am glad to report that once the the big event was over I had no more wedding nightmares.
However, now I have nightmares about plants and pregnancy (no, I am not pregnant, but yes I do have baby fever).
Last night, I dreamed that I jumped out of bed to go check on our newly-planted garden: I grabbed my jacket, hurried down our balcony stairs, and crossed the expanse that is our backyard. Then I saw our prized little plants. Everyone looked perky and bright, but something was wrong–every plant was black as charcoal. I reached out to touch a tomato plant and it crumbled into a pile of dust that got carried away by the wind.
Evidently, my brain is nothing if not creative while I sleep. I woke up from this dream (very confusing, since I had already woken up in the dream itself) and hurried out to check on the garden. I was relieved to see everything in its place, and the appropriate color. Phew!
We have kept our new little garden alive for all of three days. Wahoo! This has been a journey to say the least. It all began when my Aunt and Mom during Easter dinner encouraged me to plant a garden. I had thought about it, but I was uncertain whether our landlord would allow it. Weeks later, our landlord had given his okay, my uncle had lent us a tiller specifically made for breaking new ground, and we were ready (we thought).
Being newlyweds, and lacking in many essential household needs, we did not have a measuring tape. So we paced off the garden. We did not have any sort of stakes to mark where we paced off (pitiful, I know) and so hubs used a screwdriver to make a mark in the grass. As he marked out the plot I noticed how the screw driver deflected off of the ground as if it was hitting metal. How odd, I thought, the ground looks rather hard.
It was a beautiful Saturday and our neighbors on all sides were out in their gardens. We had only ever met our nearest neighbors, but we waved cheerily at the others as we prepared to till. Since it was hard to see the little marks in the ground, I stood where the first corner of the garden would be. The plan was that I would stand there to mark the corner as he tilled to me, and once he got too close I would simply move to the next corner and so on.
I stood in my corner, happily watching the birds, dreaming of my garden. Hubs started the tiller, and in an instant my serenity was shattered as a hundred pounds of metal leaped towards me with a roar. I mustered every single shred of athletic prowess I possessed and threw myself sideways as the tiller, dragging my husband behind it, barreled towards the neighbors fence. Our neighbor, who had been sitting on her porch enjoying a cigarette, jumped up in horror and seemed to mouth in slow motion “No…no…no…” as the tiller bumped along the yard intent on wiping out her fence.
Luckily, hubs got control of it, and promptly shut it off. This is how we met Neighbor #1 as she gasped and shouted “I thought that thing was coming through my fence!”. We laughed, nervously, and introduced ourselves, and then hurried back to our little plot of ground. Over the next half hour, hubs would turn on the tiller, and it would jerk him across the ground, leaving a mark here and there, After awhile, I noticed Neighbor #1 laughing and clapping, and I looked behind me and Neighbor #2 was crossing the yard. He gave hubs a few pointers, then crossed back to his own yard. Then after watching us some more he zig-zagged to us a few more times as he deemed fit to impart even more wisdom on the poor newlywed couple.
As hubs was finishing up we met Neighbor #3 as he yelled out “We’re going to make a redneck of you yet!” to my poor husband.
I am pretty sure I saw one of our neighbors popping popcorn in anticipation of a fun afternoon of watching the neighborhood entertainment—us.
We eventually got a small patch of ground tilled (by we I mean my Polynesian–ahem–redneck husband), we waved at our new neighbors, and hurried into our apartment where we sat down and laughed for twenty minutes straight. Tilling a garden is not, evidently, for the faint of heart.