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From the Mouth of the River

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Lovie becomes a Master Gardener

So, I says to Lovie, “Darling, spring looks a lot like winter to me. Six inches of new snow last night on top of the two-foot ice cap we already have; this could wilt the tomatoes.”

“Don’t stand near the window, dear,” she said, “you know how depressing that is for you. And please stop whining, that won’t help.”

“That’s not me,” I said, “it’s the dog. She wants out. Do you realize this dog is six months old and has never seen the ground? She thinks standing on her front feet to pee just to keep her butt above the snow is normal for a dog.

“What about those two robins that showed up a couple ah days ago? One committed suicide and the other one died from being egg bound, trying to lay frozen eggs.”

We all look forward to spring after a long cold winter and this spring has been a long time in coming. This morning at five o’clock, Scooter, our young Beagle, was sitting out on the deck with two young coons. The same two coons she has been treeing all winter. in fact, the three of them are the same age. This time, however, the three of them were looking at the ground. That’s right folks, the warm rain and sun has melted the snow on the west side of our deck and these three banditos was so fascinated to see dirt they forgot they were sworn enemies.  

Lovie, the home Goddess, is beside herself. Now that Scooter has discovered wet dirt and mud, she comes running through the house covered from head to toe with Lovie right after her with towels and mops, all the time making snide remarks about her ancestry.

I have had dogs for over fifty years and I think this is the happiest dog I have ever seen. She now thinks getting wiped off is such a game for her she runs to the dirty clothes basket and drags out a towel when she comes in the house.

I am not a psychic but I can tell you for sure there’s going to be hell to pay when spring does come. Lovie is taking the Master Gardener classes  and has every intention of producing a more productive garden than she did last year. And if she thought those gophers were a problem last year, wait until that Beagle starts to help eradicate them. I am saving a special place in my diary for all the new words that Beagle is going to learn.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. If Lovie is taking Master Gardener classes, don’t that mean more work for yours truly, like framing up raised beds and hauling dirt and fertilizer? And all those honey-dos that go along with gardening?

But wait, remember what my dear old Dad said when I got married. Never plant more grass than your wife can mow. Give her your opinion on how to plant what, where, and how much. Insist on giving her meaningless directions and if she does start something on her own, tell her, “I wouldn’t have dun it that’a way.”

I found that fishing goes a long way in your recovery program, once you’re able to see clearly out of at least one eye. Talking to her in this manner may at first seem a bit harsh but believe me, it will pay off in the long run. Now, when she heads for the garden shed, I head for the boat shed.

Another helpful hint for Garden Orphans, keep close tabs on what is spent on garden tools. Don’t complain if she buys two wheelbarrows (one pink for dirt and one yellow for flower baskets), two weed whackers (one electric and one gas—be sure she keeps and reads the manual on the gas one so you won’t be called on to start it for her. There’s nothing like trying to fish with gas on your hands.), one large rototiller for plowing and tearing up raised beds, one small rototiller for cultivating between and sometimes down the rows of vegetables (Those little suckers go wild if you hit a small rock.), at least three different sizes of shovels and just as many different rakes, hand tools and tool belts, garden hoses and sprinklers.

Of course, one has to have a proper place to store all this and it’s obvious she can’t store it in my boat shed, so a new garden shed is in order. Gardening clothes no self-respecting Master Gardener would be caught in her garden wearing (choke, choke). Work clothes. What if someone drove up? How could she serve tea looking like that?

It’s obvious we could have all our fresh vegetables flown in from Hawaii on a daily basis at this cost. However, if you have been married as long as we have you know that if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Besides, if you wrote down the cost of all the before-mentioned items you will know how much to spend on a new trolling motor, chest waders, steelhead rods, new fly rod, and fishing licenses for Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. And just look how good smoked salmon and deep fried walleye look on a plate of fresh vegetables. Our marriage is truly blessed!

Next month will be my annual wildlife report, don’t miss it! 

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Boots Reynolds Boots Reynolds The "internationally-renowned cowboy artist" Boots Reynolds has moved his comedic interpretation of life into the writing field with his regular column in the River Journal - From the Mouth of the River.

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