Sunday, April 2, 2006

The Garden

Our familial rite of spring, my wife and I and our four daughters began cleaning up our yard. As we have done, annually, in the one house we have occupied in Guymon these last ten years, we began by clearing the infinite-seeming pine needles that littered our back yard. Then we raked the entire lawn and because there was a state-wide burn ban we could not conveniently place the detritus in our trustworthy chiminea-burner and instead deposited all the dead leaves and grass and flowers and twigs and roots at the back of my Chevy pick-up and I proceeded to dump the entire load in the lake dumpster as my now deceased 89 year old neighbor had instructed me so long ago. Then we painstakingly placed mounds of compost around each trunk of the myriad plants and trees that we had planted in our ten years of occupation (by the way, I brought my two younger daughters to the cemetery later in the newly sprung forward evening hours to see where our 89 year old neighbor was resting and my five year old asked if we should dig him up and quickly recanted as she did not want any zombie encounters).

Force of habit, rite of spring, we knew what we had to do even if this may be the first summer that we might not savor the beauty of our garden that has been twice voted "yard of the month" and has been a perennial selection for the annual garden tour. One of these days, when I get the technological know-how, I will post a video of our garden, with its fountains and music and trellises and pergola and you will understand why it has become an oasis for my wife and I as well as for others in the community. I wistfully thought of my neighbor as sweat streamed from my brow that he was not going to be a part of this spring.

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