It will be a 300 mile drive to the garden, but life is about to come up blueberries. Not like I’m jumping ahead or anything as the plants aren’t even purchased or in the ground and there’s more plowing to be done, but I had to share now that the ground is broken.
It’s strange to look at this picture and think, “We’re doing this.” When I left home for college, bringing life back to these old family lots had not even an inkling of inception in my life plans. Yet, here we are, my family and I … dreaming a little bit and getting our hands dirty.
I think a house used to sit where we just dug … or it sat on the lower lot, which is the next spot to be broken open. Horses have been pastured from time to time, but other than that, the lots sat ignored except, maybe, for the occasional stray cat hunting down a gopher.
Funny how 30 years of city living haven’t really made me a city girl. I’ve always been more comfortable in cowboy boots or sneakers with garden dirt under my fingernails than in high heels or at the beauty shop getting a manicure.
When the family can’t find me in the house, they immediately look in the yard, where I’m usually fighting with thistles or finding a spot for a new flowering plant. I frequent parks with long winding trails and lots of trees and choose daily walks down the streets where I can hear chickens clucking in the backyards of those trying their hand at urban farming.
Give me miles of country road over skyscrapers; country stores over the mall; log cabins over penthouse suites. (Although I do love old brick buildings and would tolerate a loft at the top of one if it looked out towards water or an amazing cityscape. Hope that doesn’t make me a traitor of sorts.)
I’m pretty sure most of the items in this shed have not been touched since my Dad was alive … he died in 1996. The hardly visible sticks of wood in the back are the result of the labor of his last years. He absorbed hours and hours into wrestling logs from the nearby state park (with a permit, of course) and putting up several years’ supply of wood for the woodburning stoves he insisted on refurbishing and heating his house with. People still talk about watching him steer his beloved 1950’s Chevy – with the side column stick shift – toward the hills … keeping an eye out to make sure he returned at a decent hour. How he managed to commandeer those fallen trees all by himself amazed all of us.
This whole venture came about so quickly. One conversation about what to do with the lots. The word blueberries. And then a decision. It takes my breath away.
It scares me a little.
- What if we fail? Embarrass ourselves?
- Should we keep quiet about our dream until we’ve proven we can do it?
- What if the “Palouse Moose” eats our plants? (I’ll explain in another post … when I can actually get pictures of the allusive thing!)
- Will we get snarky with all the people who can’t hide their skeptical looks or hold back the constant “advice”?
- What will we do with all that raccoon poop in the barn?
And yet there is this thrill of living life six minutes at a time, of connecting with family roots (yep, I see the pun), of desiring to grow things and make something useful thrive …
That’s why I share the dream in its early stages.
Did you know that the blueberry bush has azaleas and rhododendrons in its family tree? And that blueberries as we know them are a concoction of 20th century farming?
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About the photos on my site: All photos on Rashellbud, unless otherwise noted, are my own. Two of the shots in “Coming Up Blueberries” were taken with my phone; I’m guessing you can easily figure out which two they are.