Digging in the dirt.

I love beautiful yards.

You know, the ones with strategically placed antique wheelbarrows and lovely trellises (trelli?) overflowing with an abundance of riotous flowers in amazing colors?

Yeah.  Those.

I love those yards.

However, I do not have one.

And it's not for a lack of trying.

Every year on the first warm day I drag RJ to Lowes or Home Depot or somewhere and make him push the cart around while I fill it up with hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of flowers.  Ah petunias!  You make my heart sing!  Daisies!  You are my favorite!  Then I come home and have to immediately plant them - in the ground, in pots, in planters... Then I water them faithfully, and care for them gently, until a month or so later when they are always dried up and shriveled and brown and dead.

Every year this happens.

You know the one girl in middle school who wants to be a cheerleader SO bad, and every year she works on her cartwheels for months and studies the routines and lives and breathes cheerleading day and night, and then on the day of the tryouts she totally sucks but nobody ever makes fun of her because she is so earnest and she wants it SO bad and she's SO devastated but really she just isn't very good at it?  Yeah, I'm like that, except with growing flowers.

But it never stops me from trying.

Oh, I try to talk myself out of it.  Every year in the fall, I start saying things about how I'm not going to waste all that money on buying flowers next year, and RJ just smiles and nods a little, because he KNOWS that I cannot walk in Lowes in the springtime without filling up a cart or two with flowers that are doomed to execution in my yard.

All winter long, I talk to myself about this problem.  "Self," I say, "you need to stop worrying about planting flowers this spring and focus on other things.  Like the fact that 1/3 of your yard is bare dirt and the other 2/3 is crabgrass.  Maybe you should focus on that, huh, instead of all the flowers you're planning to kill?"  My inner self is a mean bitch sometimes.

When the first warm week hit this year, I resisted the urge.  I didn't even go near anywhere that sold flowers.  So what that as a result we ran out of bread, milk and eggs and the boys had to eat frozen burritos for breakfast?  I was on a twelve step program here, and the first step is always "Make everyone else as miserable as you are."

Of course, Step 2 is "get as close as possible to see if you really can walk away."  So  I headed into Lowes, determined to walk out empty handed.  $76 and a full cart later, I walked out.  But only ONE  cart full, thank you very much, so I've definitely made progress.  This 12 step program really works!

And I came home and planted them all immediately, because digging in the dirt is good for my soul.

So thank you little flowers.  Thank you for giving your life so that I might be happy, even if it is just for a little while.

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