He Never Promised Me A Herb Garden

I was wandering around my backyard last week, admiring the spring bulbs that had flowered. The hostas that I had planted the week before Easter started making their appearance. The fruit trees were in full bloom and gorgeous. It was a happy moment, and I felt pretty pleased with all the work my husband and I have done  over the 17 years we’ve lived here.  And then I turned the corner and saw it.  You can’t help but see it. The eye sore of the yard. The cause of bickering between my husband and me over the past few years.

It’s supposed to be a flower bed that runs the length of the walkway that connects the backyard gate to our back door. The previous owner had put railroad ties along the length of it to make it a raised bed. Over the years, we’ve stuck a couple of rose bushes in it, a couple of dwarf fruit trees, and a few spring bulbs. In short, it’s a hodge-podge of shtuff. To top it all off, the railroad ties have shifted over the years, claiming more and more of the walkway.

A few years ago, I decided I wanted to plant herbs in there. It’s right off the kitchen, so how convenient would that be? Before I could have fun planting, though, I wanted my husband to put the railroad ties back where they belong. (For those not familiar with railroad ties, they are long square logs that are heavy as all get-out. I have three of them along that flowerbed.) Before he would do that, my husband wanted me to transplant the spring bulbs. And round and round we would go about who needed to do what to get this project started, let alone finished.

When I looked at the eye sore last week, I heaved a sigh and thought, Hmpf! Since he’s not here, this is going to be another year it’s not going to get done. Immediately after that thought, came another one that pulled me up short:

When the hell did I become helpless?

Trust me, I’ve done a heck of a lot harder things in my life  than shifting a couple of railroad ties a few inches to get something I wanted.  Why I thought I couldn’t do this little project without my husband is beyond me.

And a “little project” was exactly what it turned out to be. Transplanting bulbs, moving dirt aside, shifting the railroad ties over five inches, and planting the herbs took all of three hours. Not only did I do this by myself, but with a toddler “helping” (and adding “replanting hostas” onto the project list).

Now whenever I look at the former eye sore, I grin. It’s going to be nice having such a gorgeous reminder of what a waste of time self-imposed helplessness is.


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