Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sons and Gardening

Anselm and me at Scout-O-Rama
Anselm Samuel seems to be doing okay.  He spends a lot of time with me now.  We work on math and English so he can pass the CHSPE.  Why the CHSPE?  Because in the years since the divorce he has failed lots of classes and has no way to complete high school before he ages out.  But when, he passes the CHSPE he will get a high school diploma and be able to enroll in a community college.  Right now he says he is interested in welding program at Cabrillo College.  It would be pretty amazing if he winds up with a high school diploma and a welding certificate before he is even 18 years old.  He didn't know what he wanted to do until he looked at help wanted ads and saw a local company's ad: "Perfect job for new welders! No experience necessary! Just pass the drug test and start working tomorrow. $26 per hour to start."

A shot of most of the garden
Watermelon vines

Yesterday was the Scout-O-Rama.  (I remember the first one we went to, when Anselm was six years old and Basil was two.) Anselm went yesterday and had a good time.  Basil would not leave the house. I couldn't even get him to leave his bedroom.  I am very worried about him.

Basil is not doing well.  I won't say a lot about it here.  He is not thriving.  In fact, I think it is accurate to say that he is withering.  I have had to step back from trying to help him because it was only giving him an opportunity to act out.  I no longer invite him to do anything with me.  All I can do for him now is pray.  I pray akathists for him and have him commemorated at liturgies. I informed his godmother of the situation so she can pray too.  Other than that, I don't know what to do.  His mother and I disagree even regarding the root problem; there can be no team effort regarding the solution.

Our garden is doing okay.  I enjoy working in it.  It's not a farm but it is good enough for now.  The first tomatoes were harvested last night.  Many more are on the vines and will be ripe soon.  That's pretty amazing considering it is only mid-May.  The watermelons are doing amazing.  Anselm started them from seeds the last week of February and they are ready for transplant.  I think I might not have enough ground for them; watermelon vines grow long.

We weren't going to plant corn this year but Anselm really wanted to.  So I gave him a pot and some

Corn and beans
soil.  It sprouted a couple of weeks ago.  Then one day, when I was out watering, I remembered the story of Squanto.  So I planted a bean at the base of each corn stalk.  Now the beans have come up.  I hope the corn starts growing faster or else the beans won't have a stalk to climb!

Of course, we have planted lots of wild flowers for the bees and butterflies.  I've seen a few of each.  Not as many as when I was a boy.  I learned an interesting fact yesterday while at the Scout-O-Rama:  As late as 1960 fully 60% of the western hemisphere's fruits and vegetables were grown in the Santa Clara Valley, where I live now.  I know change is inevitable, but I have trouble seeing concrete, tract houses, skyscrapers, and freeways, and tilt-up computer factories as progress when it means bulldozing fruit trees and ridding the valley of bumble bees and butterflies.
Red leaf lettuce.

Romain lettuce
Kathleen planted lettuce.  She likes to munch on it when she's in the garden.  None has yet made it to the table, but it makes her happy.

We also have three kinds of squash, two kinds of cucumbers, cantaloups, onion, leeks, two kinds of sunflowers, garlic (I use the garlic in the kitchen all the time.), sage, and oregano growing.  Today I bought two grape vines: merlot and zinfandel.  We had some last year but we had to pull them up because of a virus.  I'll sprinkle the new vines with holy water and ask God to protect them.  Hmmm.  I wonder if Fr. Basil blesses gardens?

1 comment:

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Prayers for you, your family and your lovely garden, my friend. May our good God bless you richly and the Most Holy Theotokos keep you all under her Protecting Veil.
And yes, I am sure your priest will be happy to bless your garden!