Monday, September 8, 2008

September Morn


My husband is a huge Neil Diamond fan. One year for his birthday, I managed to procure tickets to a Neil Diamond concert in Salt Lake City. He loved it and it was a lot of fun. That said, for some reason, the music to September Morn is going around in my head this morning. Here is my version of the lyrics:

September morn what is it that you truly do intend?
Pretending to be nice you are no friend
You arrive and summer's at an end,

September morn, you came and froze my garden yet again.

Don't get me wrong, I do look forward to fall, it's just that this summer has sped by so fast, I'm not ready for cooler temps, and I'm a bit miffed about the sorry state of my garden affairs. We work hard to grow gardens here in the heart of Bear Lake County. Spring usually arrives about the middle of June. We can expect a frost or two just about the time our gardens come up. It has been known to snow in July and by August, we've usually thrown our hands in the air, pondering our silliness to attempt growing anything but weeds, which seem to flourish in this area. A few years ago, I wrote a poem to document this strange tradition that seems to be part of our pioneering culture here in Bear Lake. It is as follows:

Ode to Garden ‘93

Eagerly I clutched my hoe
In anticipation of things that grow.
New seeds needed to be placed in the ground,
'Though my husband felt they would not abound:
“This is a waste of effort and time!
“You can’t raise veggies in this clime!
“Every year the frost descends . . .”
“But we can’t control what the weather sends,”
I pointed out with a stubborn grin,
“And this year I know my green thumb will win!”

Despite his misgivings, he helped me rake and till
And plant every row and future squash hill,
Until at last our task was done,
Our new garden was ready for rain and sun.

Excitement gripped me with each passing day,
As tiny seedlings grew without delay.
But the joy was short-lived, summer never came,
And record lows achieved national fame.

The first frost took out my squash and beans,
Inspiring a series of emotional scenes.
Eventually I pulled myself together,
Determined to outwit the frustrating weather.
But a few days later there came a second freeze,
Which brought my strawberries to their blossomed knees.
That freeze was followed by frosts four and five,
My garden survivors were barely alive.

Meanwhile my husband strutted around with a glow,
His little smirk indicating, “I told you so!”

Undaunted I fought for the life of my peas,
Losing them in the next severe summer freeze.
I’ve lost the battle, if not the war,
My canning this year will come from the store.

For the only thing thriving through this summer’s foul deeds,
Is a bounteous crop of unruly weeds.

My green thumb is suffering a case of the blues
Garden ‘93 has given my ego a bruise.
But there is one thing I know for sure,
I’ll have a beautiful garden in ‘94!”

Cheri J. Crane

Yes, hope springs eternal, when and if it ever arrives here in Bear Lake. ;) I will no doubt attempt growing a garden yet again next year. It's tradition. And and as my dear friend, Tevye might sing out:

Who every spring must fiddle in the dirt
Plant seedlings by the thousands, coddle them with care
And who pulls the weeds and waters the precious garden

Hoping for a harvest to enter produce in the fair

The gardeners, the gardeners, Tradition!
The gardeners, the gardeners, Tradition!

Or something like that. ;) We silly gardeners here in Bear Lake County are rather like Fiddlers on the Roof. Borrowing yet again from one of my favorite musicals of all time:
A fiddler on the roof...
Sounds crazy, no?
But here, in our little village
you might say
every one of us is a fiddler on the roof.
Trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune
without breaking his neck.
It isn't easy.
You may ask,
why do we stay up there
if it's so dangerous?
Well, we stay because
[This] is our home.
And how do we keep our balance?
That I can tell you in one word!
Tradition!
Return to the Neighborhood

4 comments:

C.E. Salima said...

You are so funny, Cheri. And I feel your pain. Sounds to me like your husband needs to build you a greenhouse where you can grow fruits and vegetables year round. My mother's climate is much like yours and that's what my dad did for her. He attached it to the back of the house, 75' by 15', put a wood stove in there to keep things warm in the winter, made sure the greenhouse was against the wall of the house where the fireplace was . . . my mom loves it and enjoys the bounty year round.

Oh yeah, and I linked you to my new blog Mormon Bloggers Speak Out. Just FYI. And yes, C.E. Salima, is Candace E. Salima. I wanted a new identity for my Mormon Bloggers Speak Out and Through the Eyes of a Child.

carrie said...

Okay...I just about died reading this blog...don't worry, I didn't! I saw that you said you took your husband to a Niel Diamond concert in Salt Lake and I about cried! I thought you meant now...for the tour he is going on now. Anyways, I love Niel Diamond and was looking for the closest place for his concert (Oregon) and I was bummed there wasn't one in Salt Lake. Well, long story short..I thought for a minute I had missed out on one in Salt Lake. Silly me, and sorry for the long comment! :)

Anne Bradshaw said...

The bugs got mine again this year. Oh to be in a bug-free place and grow veggies at will!

By the way, there's another contest running on my blog this week, in case you're interested. It's such a good book.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Hi Candace. =) We did try the greenhouse thing a few years ago. The first summer it was up, it was struck by lightening. (We were out of town at the time.) We came home to a jagged tear through the side, dead plants, and baked soil. A neighbor saw it happen and called to tell us all about it.

The next year, we brought in new soil to replace what was ruined and put things back together in our cute greenhouse. (It was made up of PVC pipe and tough clear plastic---it was a cute little building)Then when we were gone one day, our neighbor's steers got into our garden and greenhouse and ruined both. We gave up on the greenhouse idea after that. ;)

Thanks for linking me to Mormon Bloggers Speak Out. I put a link to it on my side bar.

Carrie, I feel your pain. It was a great concert, down at the E-Center. This was about 6-7 years ago. Maybe he'll do another one. =)

Anne, here, here. ;) And I'll see if I can link to your contest.