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COLUMN: Garden was a concern during birthday trip

Donna Thompson
Sentinel columnist
Posted 6/26/22

Our vegetable garden had been planted and the beans and squash had begun to sprout.

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COLUMN: Garden was a concern during birthday trip


Our vegetable garden had been planted and the beans and squash had begun to sprout. The peas in the new raised bed were up and we had started harvesting some of the lettuce in the tub on the deck.

For a gardener, this was all good.

The biggest concern was protecting the plants from our current batch of marauding pests. The rabbits and woodchucks have helped themselves to our emerging plants in the past and forced me to replant some rows. I hoped the environmentally friendly sprays and pellets I used as deterrents would make these delicacies less enticing, but time would tell.

The fact that my younger sisters and I would be making a daylong trip to the Rochester area before we could get a fence around the garden made me more than a little uneasy about how the garden would fare in our absence.

My niece’s daughter and son had recently turned 6 and 2, respectively, and we planned to go out for a celebration with the family. My youngest sister arrived late Friday afternoon and we wrapped presents and piled the things we’d be taking with us in the living room.

It was a bit too optimistic of me to think I’d manage one more tour around the garden with the hot pepper spray before we left on Saturday. My next-younger sister, who was driving, arrived as my youngest sister and I were just finishing breakfast. 

We loaded things into the car and headed out.

By late morning, we pulled into the driveway of the home where my niece and her family live.

We lined up to use the bathroom and had to learn how to unlock the device that holds the toilet lid down. This little item was added after the now-2-year-old flushed a ball down the toilet, creating a perfect seal and the need to install a new toilet.

“I’m surprised you have him in a white T-shirt,” my next-younger sister commented when we sat down on the deck to eat some lunch.

“It was the only one not in the wash,” said my niece. 

I decided my trip to the church thrift shop the previous day to pick up T-shirts for the kids hadn’t been a bad idea.

The opening of presents followed. I had bought a floor puzzle for the 2-year-old. He happily tossed the pieces into the large dump truck my youngest sister had given him.

The 6-year-old was excited with the new backpack from her grandmother and the bracelet-making kit my youngest sister gave her.

After the little guy went down for a nap, my great-niece helped us plant beans, lettuce and radishes in the new raised bed her dad had put in. 

A rain shower chased us indoors and a couple of us worked with the 6-year-old to put together her brother’s floor puzzle - a 4-foot-long fire truck. 

The bracelet-making kit came out and I tried to follow the directions, but didn’t have much success with the four-stranded braid. My next-younger sister didn’t do too well either. My youngest sister did a bit better, but we never did finish the thing.

We ate supper with the family before heading for home. My great-nephew seemed more interested in the food in the serving dishes than what was on the plate in front of him, so the meal was an exciting affair.

I didn’t have energy to go out to check the garden that evening, but I did take a tour around it Sunday afternoon and everything looked OK. I sprayed some more repellent just in case.

Then it rained all evening.

Oh, well.


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