Tomato seedlings (6 Amish Paste and 12 Black Krim) pricked out and given their own pots. They’ve joined the others also waiting May for their outside planting: 2 Persimmons, 2 Black Beefsteak, 1 Ardwyna, 2 Principe Borghese, 2 Orange Cherry, 2 Yellow Pear, 2 Caspian Pink, and 1 Orange Strawberry, all from my friend June. Also two Brandywines from a garden centre because I love them, along with a big red cherry of some sort. There are still more Black Krims to prick out even though I wish I could just put them into the compost box. But no. Each strong seedling will be put in its own pot and watered and when August and September come, the cry in the wilderness will be me, wondering why on earth I grow so many tomatoes. But the little gasps of pleasure in December will also be me eating a bowl of pasta with roasted tomato sauce from the freezer or dipping corn chips into bottled salsa so it’s all about perspective.
I thought there’d only been the one bad period when I was awake at night utterly bereft of hope. I thought I’d coasted through the first year of the pandemic reasonably well. But the other night I was reading old posts, like this one, and this one, and this one too, and realized that each month has its hard time. I live in a beautiful place and I have the best of companions. He has had his first shot of vaccine and I’ll be receiving mine next Wednesday. It could be worse. It could be so much worse. I don’t want to make that list.
Squash: Green Hubbard, seed from a particularly delicious butternut, maybe Waltham (unknown because I saved the seed carefully in paper towel but neglected to write the name), Galeux d’Eysines pumpkins promising salmon pink skins with sugary concentrations forming warts on the surface. One year I found a little packet of Rouge vif d’Étampes seed which grew pumpkins that looked exactly like Cinderella’s carriage and I made ravioli stuffed with roasted pumpkin flavoured with sage and Parmesan.
On the way home from Sechelt, we listened to Roseanne Cash’s The List and I sang along to just about every song: “Sea of Heartbreak” (made even more ravishing by the added vocals of Bruce Springsteen), “Five Hundred Miles”, “Girl from the North Country“, and more. I read Christa Couture’s memoir, How To Lose Everything, last night. It’s remarkable. And what I did afterwards was count everything I hadn’t lost, everything I was grateful for, and I ran out of fingers.