We tend to focus on the negative stuff in life (at least I do), so in this post I’ll try to mix in some positivity. It exists. It’s just overshadowed by the other stuff.
I’ll dig deep. I’ll find it.
2019 was a tough year for me. But after I stopped
feeling sorry for myself, I realized it was a tough year for many people, not just me. Tough times don’t go by a calendar though. Those things didn’t go wrong because of what year it was. Feels kind of dumb that I pretended (hoped?) things would be better after 2019 was in the rear view mirror. Had to blame it all on something I guess.
On the other hand, all the 2020 stuff actually started in 2019. It just couldn’t all fit in the one year and be done by the new year. So it’s all still 2019’s fault. Haha.
When I was told I’d have to leave my mother’s house so that my siblings and I could sell it, I had nowhere to go. I couldn’t afford to rent anyplace but I make just a little too much money to qualify for any kind of assistance.
I thought about living in a converted van, something that has always intrigued me, but then I realized that would be too small for me right now – I’m not that agile with my current condition(s) – and I also have a cat. We need our space.
Converted vans, while on one hand are stealthy and really cool, on the other hand they are not always looked upon favorably by campgrounds, po po, etc.
So I decided I would buy a motorhome and live in it full time until the house sells and then I can put a down payment on a house of my own. This wasn’t a sacrifice. While I felt it was my only real choice, it’s actually an item on my unwritten bucket list. I’ve always wanted to travel and see the U.S. and parts (or maybe all) of Canada. It felt like the universe was telling me “it’s time”.
Then someone pointed out there is room at this house (I won’t get too detailed here) and I decided that was an o.k. idea, so I could get through the winter in a warm house. Circumstances wouldn’t allow me to travel any distance or for any extended time yet anyway. I had regular weekly medical appointments and was visiting my parents weekly. I was told this house would be foreclosed but we would probably get through the winter. That’s all I wanted.
After three months of packing, dumpstering, cleaning, and moving, it felt very nice to finally be able to just chill. It took me some time to realize I don’t have to keep moving…I could actually relax for awhile. I’ve moved in but refuse to really settle in as I know it’s temporary. Most of my stuff is still in storage.
About a week after I moved, I got the motorhome. The process had already been started and it just happened to come to fruition right after I moved.
The house I’m staying at is now in foreclosure and a sale was to be held by the bank almost two months ago. As you may or may not know, the pandemic put a stop to – well, a hold on – those kinds of things (foreclosures, evictions and such) and so I MAY be (mostly) here through the summer. Maybe.
Therefore, I decided I might as well have a garden! Why not? Even if traveling, I’d be “home” often enough to maintain it, as I would still be visiting my parents* at least once a week in their respective nursing homes, and visiting my sons.
*See My Mom...
I thought I’d just set up those raised-bed frames my now ex-neighbor gave me and I’d have six little raised beds (3 if I double the height). Maybe I would set up automatic watering and lots of mulch to retain moisture and keep weeds down between trips. It could work…
As if on cue, my sternum started giving me more pain and irritation than it already had been. Long story short (unless I edit some more haha), due to a complication from the open heart surgery the sternum hasn’t healed properly (effectively?) and the wires holding it together are breaking. Whew. Like the incredible hulk.
The months following my surgery certainly weren’t conducive to good strong mending and I’m sure my recent weight gain hasn’t helped the situation either.
And so it continues.
Oh, the movie
So yeah, there is more surgery in my future, after the covid-19 thing settles down. More Life-on-Hold. I wonder if my foot surgery can be done at the same time.
Good news, speaking of my foot! My foot, with it’s stubborn wound that keeps re-opening, is healed (again). Because of some delays in getting special therapeutic shoes, I had to continue having the total contact cast on it for several weeks after it was considered healed, or risk the wound re-opening. Frustrating as this was, the bright side I believe, is that the healed area has had extra time to strengthen. Now I have the diabetic shoes and extra inserts. I wasn’t confident this was going to work but now I’m starting to think it might. Woohoo! I’ll keep you posted. I think some corrective measures will be imminent eventually though.
Anyway back to gardening, the sternum issue means shoveling, hoeing, breaking new ground, heavy lifting, etc., are big no-nos. Damn it.
Remember the Greenstalk planter? I already set it up and it’s all planted. It was that fast. I planted a small variety of carrots in the top tier, spinach in the next one down, swiss chard in the next one, and in the bottom one I planted summer squashes – scallop in one section, crookneck in another – both toward the back so they don’t block the walkway the planter is on. Then the front three bottom sections are planted with green beans.
Yeah…those are some big-ass plants to be sharing 1cf of soil but it’s worth a try. As I always say, we shall see. I learned some wisdom recently that’s fitting I think, from a bad guy on The FBI, which when I looked it up to put it on here, seems to be stolen from Wayne Gretzky: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
I realized the next day, that it’s still a little too cool to be planting squash. Silly me. Maybe the planter will run a little warmer than the ground would. Everything else should be ok though. I have more seeds if these fail.
Once I had the soil and the ambition, setting up the planter and sowing the seeds (from my on-going collection) went so quickly, I wished I had another one so I could plant some more. It’s tempting but the uncertainty of where I’ll be living prevents me from investing in another one right now. If I come up with a plan, I still might.
I’ll just need a place to store it in case I don’t have a place to move it to yet. I just don’t want to throw away all that soil if I end up having to take it down. If I just move to a new place I can move it in sections while leaving the soil and maybe plants, intact.
So the good part of this is that I was able to plant stuff. It’s an addiction I tell ya. I thought it might be awhile before I could garden again, but I guess where there’s a will there’s a way…as long as there’s a way, there’s definitely a will….ooooo. I might do some random minimal-effort plantings around the yard too. Fun and hopefully productive.
Yesterday was the graveside service for my mother. She was loved and will be missed by so many. You can read more if you haven’t already.
OK that wraps this up I think. I hope everyone is staying safe from this crazy virus. Don’t be political about it, just use common sense.
Happy Gardening and Stuff!