S. surfaced last night and I am, as always, amazed by a number of things he has recently accomplished, including planting flowers (which he grew from seeds) around a tree outside his apartment building. Coincidentally, I've had gardening on my own mind lately, and every time I visit my sister's I try to scope out a place where I could grow things that she wouldn't notice (she has already warned me within an inch of my life that I am not to trifle with her expensive landscaping). When I lived in Hallowell, I would often spend a Sunday afternoon visiting Longfellow's and wandering the aisles, checking out the plants. I had some pretty nice flower boxes going last summer (god, that seems like a lifetime ago...), and I miss them. I don't even have my houseplants anymore; my mother killed them good and dead, even my pots of lavender.
My grandfather, Papa, spent every summer in the garden, and all winter planning it. He lived for that garden, and I used to follow him around with my watering can. I generally lost interest after the strawberries were done, and spent the rest of the summer climbing the apple trees. He also grew enormous peonies and glads, and there was a whole table in the dining room covered in his houseplants that I used to marvel at. In all honesty, one of the only reasons that buying a house appeals to me is to be able to have a garden...I have these daydreams of puttering in the dirt outside, and then puttering inside with yarn and fabric, while baking bread and putting up jam. This sounds horribly provincial, rural, and a hell of a lot like retirement which, if I am to believe those letters I get from Social Security every year before my birthday, I won't be able to do until I am 90 (assuming I live that long in the first place). It's so strange, because thirty years ago if you'd told me I'd turn out like this I would have had one big capital-F Fit and huffed off to write in my journal about how I was going to conquer the world.
Now, my idea of conquering the world is having my very own lilac tree. What happened???