Tuesday, July 23, 2013


"Do you remember when the winter was so long, it seemed that summer would never come. And then in summertime, winter was so long ago we almost forgot what it was like?" -- Mary Ingalls, as quoted in These Happy Golden Years

Yep. That -- what Wisconsin feels like to me.

There's a reason I haven't blogged since April: The snow finally *FINALLY* melted (long after March, when I first started bidding it farewell).

Winter overstays its welcome up here. There's a quick meltdown we obligingly call "spring," and then summer is fleeting. There's just enough time to thaw out your toes.

We cram 9 months of stuff into summer. I'm so not kidding. Everything is so green and different, that it almost seems like we've moved somewhere else since winter. But it'll all be gone soon enough.

"How did Ma and Pa Ingalls ever do it?" I wonder. I'm pretty sure they must have been quite skinny. I have a cellar, too, but I'm guessing my garden isn't nearly as big as theirs was. I'm trying to branch out, though, and plant perennial things that will produce or at least start growing in spring -- strawberries, asparagus, and even "pie plant" (rhubarb).

In Texas, I loathed summer and welcomed the chance to go off and do things in air conditioning and/or cooler weather. Mission trip to Wisconsin or the mountains of New Mexico? You betcha! I'll work hard, but it'll feel good.

Now that I live in Wisconsin, I find myself begrudging anything on my calendar during June, July, & August. Can we visit relatives in Texas during spring break, when it's still too cold to do anything up here? Can we have VBS in January when the kids are stir crazy for activity because it's dark by 4:30 in the afternoon? Mission trip to Central America in February anyone?

So now I'm trying hard and hoping that I can get all the yard work done before the first frosts begin erasing the memory of what is planted where. There is such a long time between growing seasons that I forget. Sometimes I have to wait until things bloom before I know what is a weed and what is not.

I can almost hear my neighbors muttering under their breaths, even though most of our landscaping is nice and neat. Still, other areas are pretty sad:

(This is what happens when the weed control fabric of a previous homeowner is not completely discovered and removed before planting all those cool native plants.)

Maybe this fall I'll remember to label the good guys before they disappear? I'm hoping to dig down deep before summer's end and nab those holdout invasive roots sheltering under that deeply "planted" weed fabric I discovered too late. And maybe, just maybe, I'll remember to make my list of stuff I want to order for next spring and note where there's room to plant it...