Garden Fresh

I completely forgot yesterday was a Monday, so here we are today, with a little story from my morning.

As I was preparing to leave work today, an small elderly man comes in with a large woven basket.  I assumed he was there to rent or return a car, as people tend to do at my place of employment, but no…he truly had no business with us.  He explained he had just come to give us some tomatoes.

I looked at work-Mark for some sort of clue: was this a usual occurrence?  Had we rented to this man before?  Was this a thank you of some kind?  Work-Mark gave no indication of anything other than to say “oh yes, I think I remember you,” and then suddenly the man was handing us tomatoes.  Work-Mark went in back to get a box for them, and the old man asked if I enjoyed pears.  I replied that I do, because they are actually my favorite handheld fruit.  This gentleman starts talking about a pear tree that I assume he has in the garden with the tomato plants.  He then tells us the tomato plants came over from Italy, so they are Italian tomatoes (he himself had a heavy Italian accent, and I imagined him carrying tomato seeds in his pockets when he immigrated.)  Then he left, and I went about finishing my day, and five minutes later he was back again with his basket, now full of pears.  Work-Mark then tells me there is a pear tree on the Avis property, and this man was aware of it, apparently, so he picked me some pears. 

I thanked him, and wished him a nice day, and when he left, I turned to work-Mark with my questions, for which he had few answers.  Apparently, he is just an old man who lives on a farm and drives around handing out his produce.  I watched as this tiny elder climbed into the biggest Ford pickup I have ever seen and wondered what the hell just happened.  I watched him drive away, holding my box of produce.

I took some to my aunt and my grandma, and saved some for my dad, and tonight home-Mark gets a BLT for dinner with pears for dessert.  And I get a little story for my blog. 

Happy Tuesday.


Spring Has…Sprung?

Well, it’s mid-April and Sunday is Easter so I guess it’s Spring now?

I mean, it’s kind of cold and definitely raining and gray and generally “blah” outside, but here I am looking at the calendar and yup…definitely Spring.

I usually count Easter as the beginning of Springtime, likely because of my early indoctrination into the Catholic Church.  I left such organizations many years ago, but I still hold a little solemnity for the Easter Season, from Palm Sunday (when Jesus rode into town on a donkey,) to Good Friday, at least .  Today is Holy Thursday, for those not in the know.  Dinner Party Day, as I like to call it, but most scholars refer to it as The Last Supper, when Jesus gave his apostles the sacrament of the holy communion.  It is “celebrated” by some guy at church washing the feet of other guys at church.  Tomorrow is Good Friday, where nothing good happened, and they crucified a dude for wanting to help the poor, sick, and needy.  (Same sh*t, different millennia, amiright?)  This is celebrated with the Stations of the Cross, which is like an art showing with a terrible audiobook playing in the background.  Then Holy Saturday…which is just a weird one.  See, the apostles held a vigil outside of Jesus’ tomb that day, waiting for his resurrection.  Apparently, they stayed all day, yet still somehow no one was there the next morning to see Jesus come strutting out.  No, Easter morning was when “the women” (including Jesus’ wife, but whatever, Catholic Church,) arrived and found that he was already gone.  Yay Easter!  A celebration of a gruesome death followed by slight confusion!  Wait no…we’re celebrating the resurrection part.  At least, that’s according to my 12th grade Religion teacher.

But as I said, I’m done with all that.

So instead, I think of my garden.  I just cleaned it out and got it ready, and now I need to do a little weeding and lay some new mulch, and some greenery is already starting to show.  My front lawn is a mud pit, so that will take more time, and the trees remain bare, but I know it is coming.  I know one day soon I will look out the window and see grass and leaves and sunshine, not this windy, cloudy, terrible day I see right now.  After all, April showers do bring May flowers.

So, next week, I guarantee no update for Monday because I am having cataract surgery on my right eye.  If I think of it on Sunday I might write, but don’t expect anything.  I will hopefully be back Thursday to tell you all about it.  In the meantime, I’d appreciate if you took to literally any of my socials and watched the video I made today for my piece “Garbage.”  It recently lost it’s home, and instead of finding it a new one, I have built a house for it on my TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.  So, I ask you to check it out (@hamneggs716) and share it or like it or leave a comment, because I am letting this little guy fly free out there and it needs all the love it can get. 

So do i.  And well wishes, too.  Big week ahead.

Anyway, that’s all for today.  Happy Monday, my friends.


Remember that day in school, when the teacher would finally open the windows while you were at lunch and you came back to the classroom to fresh warm air billowing in and it smelled like springtime and freedom?  Then you spent the whole afternoon staring out the window, just waiting for the bell to ring so you could run outside and play with your friends?  That is how today feels.

I am writing this blog, then doing some cleaning, and the truth is I just want to play hooky and go outside and play. 

I want to play in my garden.  I situated my indoor garden last week, and a couple of the friends in there need to head on out to the porch, which I intend to put together this weekend.  I also am in process of murdering some weeds in my front garden while waiting for my perennials to sprout. 

I want to go fishing.  I have been several times this year already but haven’t caught anything.  I want to go down to my favorite spot and plant my chair and cast my new pole and see if some little fishy is venturing up towards the sunlight, like me.

I want to go camping.  I am making that a reality this year.  I want it to be my birthday so we can roll off to the woods for the weekend and spend our time celebrating with family and friends.  I want to go hiking and cook my food on a campfire and lay down under the stars.

I want to have a barbeque.  This is always one of the first true signs of warmer days for me.  I want to get hot dogs and hamburgers and fire up the grill and have a cold beer.

I want to be outside.

Today it is supposed to get to a record 80 degrees here in Buffalo, and I just want to run outside and play. 

So yeah…short blog.  Go play.

Green Thumb

Once upon a time, I lived in an apartment I refer to as The Dump.  We lived there for about two years and anything that you could imagine was wrong with it absolutely was.  The one little shiny spot however was that behind the garage there was a vacant lot.  This left plenty of room for our dog Buddy to play, and, after clearing away some of the brush, it occured to me one sunny afternoon that it would make a lovely garden as well.  So, I went out and got some 2x4s and built a little vegetable patch.  That summer, as Buddy raced around me, I grew squash, peas, beans, cucumbers, and strawberries.  I had never showed any interest as a child when it came to helping my mother with her garden, and it surprised me how much I enjoyed turning seeds into food.  I had always assumed gardening was not for me, and only started my veggie patch because I was out of work and needed something to do. 

I have the ability to grow food at this house, but haven’t tried it yet.  My neighbors are planting a few things and have promised to share the crop.  What I do now is tend the front garden, where I am growing purple salvia and bright pink peonies the size of a baby’s head.  Last week I rescued a dying gloriosa daisy and soon it will grow alongside them. 

Then, there’s my indoor garden, which I love the most, especially in winter when I’m dying to see something green.  First there’s my spider plant, who came to me in a tiny milk carton from an actress friend and now is a huge hanging pot with dozens of babies dangling from it.  There were more, but I gave one to each of my aunts, uncles, and cousins as Christmas gifts and still it continues to grow.  There’s my aloe plant, given to me after a show in a tiny painted pot, which massively overgrew it and now takes up most of the table.  I have a shamrock and superbells from my mother (the latter should really be put outside but I love looking at them every day.)  I have a pansy and geranium mix that I just bought, and a dieffenbachia I got for my birthday, along with an unidentified little pot of purple flowers.  There are poppies I’m trying to grow, and a spider plant baby that I hope will some day match its mama.

I remember being a child in my grandmother’s garden.  She grew roses for each grandchild; mine was peach-colored.  She had raspberry bushes and would let me pick them.  I think that was probably my first look at gardening.  In youth I didn’t think much of it, but as I have gotten older I appreciate it more and more.  I find solace and peace in the garden, and often have wonderful story ideas or surprising mental breakthroughs when my hands are deep in the warm soil.  It has become a therapeutic tool for me, and one that I never thought I would be using.  When I’m in my garden I’m thinking of my gram, and my mom, and all the wonderful bits of nature that I get to experience in those instances.  It quite literally brings me back to earth.

I need a bigger table.

Secret Garden

A few years back, Mark and I lived in our shittiest apartment.  To this day I call it The Dump, and it will always be remembered as such.  I cannot actually go into detail about its grossness.  Never mind we were living like college kids at the time, both of us having caught the late bus to adulthood.  Suffice it to say, it was cheap, it was terrible, and we hated it.

One day I was in the backyard and discovered a plot behind the garage.  Now, it looked like it was part of our yard, as the neighbors yard extended back there as well.  Later we discovered the whole thing was just a vacant property plot.  But at the time, I thought it was ours.

It was huge, and there was room for Buddy, our four year old Pitbull at the time, to run around in circles and roll in the grass. It reminded me of the book The Secret Garden, which I loved as a child, and I got the idea to plant a few things.  Mark and his buddy found me some boards, and I bought some dirt, and built myself a little vegetable garden behind the garage.  That year I grew peas, beans, squash, and a single cucumber.  I also worked on the flower patch we had and grew beautiful sunflowers out front in an effort to make it look like someone actually lived in The Dump.  I found that I really liked gardening, despite a childhood where my mothers offer to help her pull weeds sounded like a death sentence.

When we moved, I switched to houseplants.  I have a killer spider plant that gives off dozens of babies every few months, a huge aloe plant that came from a tiny pot I got at my old theater many years ago, shamrocks from my mother, some unidentifiable beautiful thing from Beth, and others.  I love houseplants.  They’re like a little garden for your home.  I desperately want to go to one of those Plant Nights I’ve heard about.  Jaime and her mother went and made awesome little succulents.

This year, I am blessed.  My friend Carey just moved in downstairs of us, and has graciously offered to me the vegetable patch in the backyard.  Yesterday I planted beans and peppers.  Tomorrow is cukes and squash, and Mark got me these great boxes for growing spinach.  As I sat in the dirt and pulled up the weeds I thought about how gardening has helped me.  For one, it calms me down.  I find relief in pulling the weeds up and peace in putting the seeds in the ground.  Another, it gives me ideas.  I work on stories in my head while I garden, sometimes without even realizing it.  It’s almost a form of meditation for me.

So, I am looking forward to this summer as I get to do veggies in the yard and flowers in the bed out front.  I noticed that the peony (one of my two favorite flowers) that my mother gave me last year has a bud on it, so I am just waiting for that to pop.  I look forward to the seasons through my plants, and they help me find joy in simpler things.  I hope everyone can find a hobby that brings them that kind of fulfillment.

purple flower buds
Photo by Valeria Boltneva on