Soon to be renowned!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

If You Love a Potato ...

... Let it go. If it comes back to you, it is yours to eat.

Oh man, am I going to eat some potatoes.

You see, prior to our evacuating Fencebroke Promontory on the crest of the Great Washing-Machine Flood of 2015, I had tearfully released several seed potatoes into the wild.

“Go! Be free,” I said. “This backyard life will soon chafe your russet skin. Go see the world; visit Idaho. Get out there and make something of yourself.” And then I shut the door and wept.

I've always wanted to grow potatoes.

With time I came to terms with my loss. I told myself every morning that those fingerlings and reds would be happier, better tubers out there on their own than if they set root in my humble garden. I never fully believed this, but with repetition it took on the soothing cadence of a mantra, and I was able to move on.

However, just in case my prodigal spuds ever returned, I built a home for them: a potato house. This would be a place to call their own, apart from the sunup-sundown brawl of the vegetable garden, where they could stretch towards the sun and have soil heaped upon them, the better to start a family of tender new potatoes.

Even as I cut the cedar boards, I knew this was just a dream. The potato house would be nothing but a sad memorial for the starchy little ones I let go. But I couldn't stop, and soon the house was complete and soon after that we were forced to abandon Fencebroke.

Weeks passed. And then, some untold time and countless omelets later, when we got the “all-clear” to return, and when I had almost forgotten ever slapping together that ridiculous, hopeless shrine in the first place, I came home and saw this:

And once more, I wept.

The potatoes, they came back!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Fencebroke Promontory Suites

The whole gardening thing was getting tiresome. So was the whole washing machine and the inch of water with which it decided to flood the entire floor of our house. To remedy both ennuis, we decided it'd be fun to pack up and stay in a hotel for a few days. And by “we” I mean the insurance company. And by “fun” I mean necessary. And by “pack up” I mean evacuate. And by “a few days” I mean indefinitely. Come to think of it, that original sentence was pretty misleading.

So it is that Fencebroke Promontory has temporarily set up shop in a nearby hotel, where we have been familiarizing ourselves with the omelet bar and trying, unsuccessfully, to blend in with the dour business travelers. Mostly, we've been riding the glass-walled elevator up and down with our awe-struck and very confused Daisy, who now considers this ritual to be as indispensable to daily life as Curious George. “Elevator” is pronounced “Alligator”, by the way.

The hotel is, actually, pretty nice. I confess more than a bit of surprise and gratitude for the quality of our accommodations (is it possible that Nationwide really is on your side?) The one aspect of mitigation and compensation that homeowner's insurance cannot seem to help with, however, is that related to the most innocent and utterly helpless victim in all this: the gardens of Fencebroke proper.

Early Spring is not a good time to be an absentee gardener. The lawn needs mowing; the crops thinning; the beds weeding. I myself need the therapeutic touch of cool dirt between my fingers; I have tried plunging my hands into the old potting soil of the houseplants in the lobby, but any relief thus provided is minimal, fleeting, and soured by stern looks from hotel custodial staff.

This is not the only difficulty I have encountered in redirecting my gardening urges towards activities more becoming of hotel guests. In the gardening year, April in particular is ruled by the urge to sow. And while so far, no one has seemed to mind the handful of broccoli starts I snuck into the landscaped parking lot beds, I fear it is only a matter of time before I am deductively linked to the large squash mounds which popped up overnight in the manicured front lawn. But what else am I to do? It's the only spot on the property that gets full sun.

Now, if you'll excuse me, the omelet bar closes in 10 minutes and Miguel the cook will be worried if I'm not there for my ham and pepper fix.