Playing in the Dirt

Spring has undoubtedly arrived in Memphis. There are flowers everywhere I look. New green leaves are popping out of bare branches.  The rose bushes that David pruned a couple months ago are sporting beautiful new growth.

We have now lived in Memphis for about three years. I was pregnant with Maggie when we moved here, though we lived in a different house for our first year. (It was terrible.  The roof leaked. We were relatively certain that there was some structural damage. And don’t even get me STARTED about the bugs.  I mean, you expect a certain number of large, black creepy-crawly things when you live in a southern city, but this was OUT OF CONTROL and I had more than one incident when a fully-grown cockroach crawled over my BARE FOOT.  I am getting the creeping willies just thinking about that.)  Anyway, we moved out of that first house as soon as our lease allowed and moved to a very nice house rented from a lovely woman who decided that she wanted to move to Hawaii.

We’ve been here about two years now and this is the first time since we have been married that we have lived in a place longer than the span of a 12-month lease, which means we’re starting to think about things beyond “getting all of the boxes unpacked just in time to turn around and pack them again because we have two kids and moving takes at least 6 months in either direction.”

So, over the course of the past week, I decided to tackle a flower bed that is outside our front door.  It had shrubs in it when we moved in here, but those succumbed to the Memphis summer heat shortly after we moved in.  So last summer it became a tangled mess of weeds and random plants that may or may not have been actual flowers at some point.  And last summer I was a thousand months pregnant with Beckett and it was consistently about 100 degrees outside so I did nothing to help the situation.

But this year!  I have a plan. I thought Maggie would have fun playing in the dirt with me, and so last weekend I took the kids outside and spent several hours pulling up the various weeds and clover patches that had found themselves at home in the little patch of dirt.  Maggie didn’t enjoy playing in the dirt quite as much as I had envisioned, as she spent most of the time getting very small specks of dirt on her hands and then coming to me saying over and over again, “Wash hands? Yes? Wash hands?” (Having a toddler who insists on staying clean has its advantages, I suppose, but not when we’re playing in the dirt.)

But Maggie overcame her fear of getting dirty this past weekend when phase two of the plan was put into action.  David and I dug up the compost pile we have out back and gathered the bit of usable compose while turning everything else over.  I mixed the compost into the patch of dirt and a few pots and then I planted seeds: spearmint, thyme, sage, oregano, basil, parsley, and marjoram.  Some of the seeds were to go in the pots and then the rest would go into the flower bed.  But as I planted the seeds, Maggie came behind me and very helpfully starting moving the dirt between the pots and the patch of dirt that she would not touch the week before.

So at one point I think I might have had some nice rows of herbs.  Now, I have no idea where anything, and I highly doubt that I’ll have rows of anything.

But the patch of dirt will be full of herbs that I planted with Maggie.

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