Gratitude III

I’m getting behind in my posts again, so I was looking for something easy to recycle. Something about gratitude, which I know I’ve written about. See, I was thinking about gratitude, but I wasn’t really feeling it, so what better way to address it than a rerun? Maybe I could use my own words to remind myself about gratitude. But the two previous posts I wrote called Gratitude and Gratitude II were actually kind of crabby, and worse, they were in-the-moment crabbiness that didn’t easily translate into a rerun.

I really need to start writing more evergreen stuff. Being mindful and in the moment is terrific, life changing, and gets you a front row seat to Buddhism (or so I’m told), but it’s shit for recycling blogs.

So, it looks like I have to write something fresh anyway. And I’m starting to think my gratitude only springs from being a crabapple. That I have plenty of. American Thanksgiving is traditionally the time to give thanks, but when I’m in a mood, all the commercialized thankfulness starts to get on my nerves: the endless articles about the 5 ways being thankful makes you live longer, or makes your finances more stable, or makes your closet more manageable.

I just want it to make me less crabby, but maybe I should stick with the closet thing. So there I was being crabby the day before Thanksgiving and repotting some plants I had brought indoors. I was starting to feel a little better — the plants do that to me. Since I was in the groove, I went down into the garden to fuss over a few last things before winter truly set in, and I noticed one of my flower boxes was tilted at a weird angle. I had already been a little worried about leaving them out all winter. Plastic will forever be in our landfills, but it seems like it cracks and breaks when you want it to hold your plants.

Muttering expletives, I went over to straighten it out and there discovered the most perfectly shaped sweet potato tucked under the box — the box that had 2 sweet potato plants. A root must have made it through one of the holes in the bottom and then had a grand time being, well, outside the box. Like many of us who tend to thrive outside the box, this beauty put its boxed cousins to shame. Those poor cousins were delicious, delightful, and a bit fingerling creepy.

Now check out this beauty:

So, once again, the gahden, even in freakin’ Novembah, saved my sorry ass. How could I be grumpy after that? It was a bit nibbled at the end, and while I can be crabby, I do get that something found it first, so I put it back. And also there is probably 100-year lead paint in that dirt, so better you than me, critter.

But of course as with most human a-ha moments, they are often followed by “gimme more” moments, and I started to revisit an idea I had read about growing sweet potatoes in a hay bale. I just could not figure out how to execute it. Where they heck do you get a hay bale? Is there a hay bale season? How do you get it home? What’s the difference between hay and straw? But seeing that perfect potato, I was thinking it could be worth pursuing. I could jam in a hay bale in somewhere.

And now you see what this gardening thing has done to me. There’s always another aspect to learn, figure out, improve on, take a risk on, and weep bitterly about if it goes horribly, horribly wrong.

OK, so maybe the hay thing is too much. But I also read about 5 gallon buckets. Nice, deep buckets that give sweet potatoes room to sink into.

Yeah, that’s the ticket. Buckets.

So, I am grateful for that wayward potato that emerged flawless and gorgeous from the ground, despite several frosts and general neglect. I’m grateful for food grade 5 gallon buckets, and I’m grateful that I was able to have fresh material. It may not be evergreen, but I’ll get crabby about that later.


  1. Sandy, THAT is impressive! (Apparently, jumbo homegrown sweet potatoes are nature’s way of saying: “Stop your bitchin’ and just be grateful.” Who knew?)

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