Leaving Kevin home alone is a chancy business. Home is where we keep our various weapons of mass destruction, things like trucks and power tools and ladders, and my husband is always looking to use them in fresh and imaginative ways. I am steeled against the day that I come home to find Kevin on one side of the house and his left leg on the other.
When that day comes and all my friends ask, incredulously, “But why did you leave him home alone with trucks and power tools and ladders?” I will have to explain to them that the many projects Kevin got done while I was out more than make up for a little dismemberment.
Last week, my friend Katie, who lives in Brooklyn, came to stay with us for a couple of days. One of those days, she and I went to Chatham to hike around Morris Island. The hike took a while, and then we had lunch and went for ice cream, and it was late afternoon by the time we got home.
Kevin was just finishing up.
He’d leveled the ground to created five tiers on the most severely sloped part of our garden. To hold each tier, he used twelve-foot lengths of 1×12 rough-sawn pine from our local sawmill, R.D. Williams. They were secured with three-foot lengths of PVC, leftover from an oyster-farm project, sunk two feet into the ground and screwed into the wood.
He’d also ordered five yards of garden soil from Mahoney’s, due to arrive the next day.
It was an unconscionable amount of work – dirty, sweaty work – and he did it alone. So, the next day, when Katie went home and the soil arrived, I was more than willing to shovel into the tiers and our two new raised beds all by myself. I was clearly running a labor deficit.
So, can you picture Kevin sitting inside, sipping a gin and tonic, while I shoveled solo?
You can’t learn much about gardening from me. I bumble through, doing the best I can. In fact, you can’t learn much about any of these activities I write about from me. My skills are so-so, at best, and my record is distinctly mixed, although I think it’s improving. There is one thing, however, at which I excel, and my perfect record is a testament to my talent. I am a world-class husband-picker. (Some day, when I can figure out how to work it into a post about hunting, gathering, fishing, or growing, I will tell you my Two Rules of Marriage.)
Kevin doesn’t keep score, and it would take something truly incapacitating – like, say, being separated from his left leg – to keep him from doing whatever it is that needs to be done around here. Together, we spread out the soil. The chickens even helped.
Yesterday, we planted.
Kevin’s tiers are now filled with hope in the form of eggplant, pepper, cucumber, basil, and sugar snap pea seedlings. The tomatoes and potatoes are in the raised beds. The squash is planted across the back of the garden, and the beans are on the part that’s still sloped – we’re hoping the plants will be above the level of the squash plants by the time the squash vines wend their way down. All is fenced securely, because chickens are much less helpful in the garden once it has tender, delicious plants in it.
All we need now is an irrigation system on a timer. That’s a big job, so if anyone out of state would like me to come visit, let’s see if we can arrange it.