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Paper Clips

Weeding life's problems away

Now I've done it. I've gone and messed with Mother Earth. At least in my back yard, where I've planted a little garden I like to refer to as my "weed patch."

Don't get me wrong, I have a green thumb and am often on the receiving end of a friend's houseplant that seemingly appears to be dwindling down to its last days. Not on my watch. I can bring those potted pretties back to life in no time flat. I rarely encounter a plant I can't save.

I've never really had a "garden" garden. And by that I mean a space in my yard that I am mostly sole caregiver. Sure, I've potted plants a plenty, even peppers and petunias.

This year, though, marks my first venture into tomatoes, squash, cucumber and cantaloupe.

Little did I know it'd bring on such anxiety.

I've always heard people talk about enjoying time in their garden, how it was relaxing, nurturing for the soul and all that.

Not me.

Not at first.

I have fretted many a day since I first put in my plants. It started after I learned the earth that was tilled was amongst a pervasive and complex weed root system.

It's not like I ever looked out at the cheat grass and thought, "Hmmm, there might be a problem."

First, I planted the squash and cucumbers. As I did it, I thought it was just me and just a coincidence that I was hitting some kind of root. The plants weren't all that big, they weren't going all that deep, so I cleared the way and planted.

A few days later, though, I planted my large, lush tomato plants and knew there was trouble. These had to be planted deeper and there was no denying how invasive the weed roots were at that depth.

It was too late to stop, so I tried to get over my heavy heart, disappointment and doubts and planted away. After all, there was no other place to put those bad boys, or, technically, those "Early Girls."

I planted.

I watered.

And I anxiously watched. For days.

Rather than feeling that "nurtured soul" type feeling, I felt more like I was teetering perilously on an edge and would either fail miserably or land softly with great success and abundant harvest.

After several days of feeling this way, I had to have a heart to heart with myself in no other place than, well, in the garden (while weeding, mind you).

I managed to convince myself that whether I succeeded or failed, everything would be alright in the end. I even consoled myself that, heck, I planted 'em into a weed patch!

Whaddya know. I started to relax, enjoy myself, get on with life, weeding and watering. Now my husband affectionately calls me "Farmer Brown" when I come in from the garden instead of offering me a stiff drink to relax.

Currently, my plants are doing fabulous (peppers are a bit slow in coming, but that's OK) and I finally see what people mean when they say they find it relaxing.

Now if I could just keep my 75-pound, four-legged "daughter" out of my weed, er, um, garden patch.

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