When I pull into my drive I can see the dark red shining through the thinning foilage in my garden. When I plop down in my comfy chair on my back porch I can practically count the red fruit hanging from the dying stems. And yes, when I stand at my kitchen sink, if I cast a glance through the back door that too gives me a view of the many tomatoes still clinging to the vines.
I've waited all summer for home-grown tomatoes. Their texture, the fresh earthy aroma, the firm yet juicy ripeness is a what a gardener dreams of. Store bought tomatoes have never appealed to me. I buy them only when desperation demands I do, ususally for some salad in the dead of winter. Those pathetic replicas only add color not flavor to a meal. But my home-grown tomatoes ... now were talking tasty, sumptuous delight.
But I'm tired, and it's been buggy out. I know from experience the mosquitoes buzz around my garden and I don't want to be bit only to spend the evening scratching and digging. And let's face it, I've picked all the ones at the edge of the garden. The ones I need to get to are on the inside of the tangled vines. I'd have to plow my way through, pulling and separating the scratchy, prickly stems. So that means I need to find my garden gloves.
I know I own some; they were on my fingers all spring and partly through the summer when I on occasion actually weeded my garden. BLTs would taste devine about now. Yes, I need to find my gloves. I can do this. Wading through the vines means real shoes not sandals, socks and jeans. But it's unseasonably warm this September. The weatherman said something about high 80's today.
Okay, so I need gloves, shoes, socks, pants and I should probably find a basket to hold all the fruit I'm going to pick. I've done this before - I'm no dummy. If one wants to tackle the tomato garden, one needs to be prepared. It's no fun tip-toing into that scraggly mess without a bowl or basket. I've learned it's harder to go back in once retrieving the needed holding device. And if one has a bug phobia, I'm not mentioning names here, one needs to move quickly and not venture in when dusk is setting. Believe me, the banana spiders don't look friendly after their homes have been destroyed.
Whew, I'd forgotten how difficult it is picking tomatoes. But they're right there ... ripe and shining in the sun, looking for all purposes ready to accommodate me and my wishes for a BLT. I take a deep breath. I pace the confines around the tomato patch. The sun shining caught three spider webs, there could be more. The basket swings from my fingers, still empty. Am I chewing my lip? For heaven's sake!
A familar red pick-up pulls in the drive. A tall, rugged-looking man saunters across the yard towards me. I hand him the bowl and he smiles. He's no dummy either.
"How many do you need?" he asks.
"Oh, fill the bowl up," I say. I saunter back to the house. Yep, BLT's will taste mighty fine. I love gardening.
Til next time ~