I seem to remember getting a shovel one year for my birthday. I might be mistaken, because I really don’t remember every gift I have ever gotten from The Car Guy. But if one year I said I needed a shovel, and The Car Guy was wondering what to get me for a present for my birthday, he would remember the shovel request. And he wouldn’t hesitate to give me a shovel as a gift and be very pleased that he had SHOPPED.
A few miles from us is a Mushroom Farm. The owners must have heard a woman gardener say, “I’d like some Mushroom Compost for my garden.” (She likely already had a shovel.) The owner, realizing he had stumbled onto a marketing bonanza, decided to offer free Mushroom Compost to the public on… that was the tricky part. He (and I’m assuming it was a He) had to pick a day that would be meaningful, and would coincide with when he wanted to reduce the size of the pile of compost that had accumulated outside his grow op. That was when he came up with the Saturday of Mother’s Day Week-end!
All the son’s and husband’s of the women gardeners are ecstatic. It is the perfect gift. Men get to take rugged trucks and trailers, and go on a shopping trip that doesn’t involve the Mall. They come home with their load, put on their shit-kicking boots, some heavy gloves, and take up a shovel. Soon there is an aromatic pile of stuff on the ground. Smells to high heaven, but if it makes the wife/mother happy, it is a job well done.
And so it was that The Car Guy and The Youngest Daughter and The Son in Law headed off last Saturday in the truck. And now I have a very large pile of stuff right outside the back door, and it smells like a feed lot has set up shop in my yard.
I am reminded of a quote by Peter Jensen: “An old friend once told me that if you were given a barn full of manure to shovel out, it was a tremendous idea to keep in mind that a pony had to be in there somewhere.” I, however, sincerely hope there is no pony in my pile. That would make the pile never-ending, and I really hope to reduce this pile to nothing before another one arrives next Mother’s Day!
A Gardener’s Last Wish
Don’t carry me off in a brass-handled coffin
With a wreath on my chest I won’t be ‘at rest’
There’s nothing much worse than a ride in a hearse
To a hole in the ground with just strangers around
No! bury me deep in the compost heap
Or pop me right under a nice floribunda
Its really much wiser to become fertiliser
Then I can grow roses as I decomposes.
– Joyce Fothergill –