I was shopping in Sears, looking for gardening gloves. My husband was looking at gardening tools because we wanted an easier way to remove weeds. As chief weed-puller I wanted pretty but functional gardening gloves. While I was admiring them I told him I thought I might try raising some herbs or vegetables. He looked at me and asked me what I would grow if I had a garden. I told him “maybe some lavendar, or rosemary, or peppermint – maybe tomatoes (I was hungry for a good old-fashioned tomatoe sandwich at the time.)” The next day when I came home from work he had purchased a truckload of lumber and built me a raised bed planter in the backyard. We went to Walmart looking for potting soil and such. While there he picked up a starter tomato plant.
You have to know my husband is an engineer. Numbers and geography are his forte. He sees graphs in his dreams. Excel spreadsheets make him salivate. We put the tomato plant in the side yard. He drew up a chart for watering. As the tomato grew, he would document the progress on his spreadsheet. I just wanted one tomato to be big enough to pluck from the vine and slice for my sandwich (an ideal tomato sandwich should be on white bread [Wonder by Hostess, if you can find it], with mayonnaise [Hellman’s in the East, Best Foods in the West – same product – different brand], salt and pepper. That’s it.) He designed a watering can out of a milk jug (I wish I still had a picture of it for you) and instructed me on its use. I was faithful to water my tomato plant. I put on my gardening gloves (purple with lavender flowers) and pulled dandelions and other weeds. He mowed. I bagged.
He built this enormous raised bed planter in the backyard on our rental property. It was too big. He loves me though. He’s always showing it. He knows what I seek and he seeks to provide. It’s symbiotic really. We filled that planter with potting soil and local dirt. We tried to grow things. I despaired of ever growing the “right” things. I love him for his efforts. He listens to me but it wasn’t meant to be. That would come later… In Fairbanks, Alaska, for my birthday, I got the best gift. You can read about it here.