10 January 2011

Little Acorns

A finer scene I am unsure I could have made up, playing out on the couch in my living-dining room combo space, as the Wee Lass and I sat side by side on a fine Sunday morning.  It is that special time of year for those of us who are, or like to pretend they are, gardeners what can grow the good stuff.

You know what I'm talking about: that is right, the seed catalogs are here!  You remember that scene in "The Jerk" when the new phone books arrive?  Yeah, that's what it is like.  This year, anyway.

I get two seed catalogs* from major suppliers, and I look forward to perusing them at my leisure in the depths of winter.  Now that the Lass is a little older and enjoys plants and flowers, we have started what looks to be an annual tradition of our own.  When the seed catalogs arrive, she and I set aside some time to leaf (leaf: get it? ha!) through them to pick out stuff to grow in the spring and summer.

Our interests are complementary in that I am drawn strongly to the Things That Are Good To Eat, and she is drawn to the Things That Make Pretty Flowers/Have Pretty Names.  I like flowers too, but can't help the appetite.  If I can find something that looks great and produces tasty stuff, well that is just double plus good for me.  The Wee Lass is on a pink kick, and she is drawn like a bee to the flowers that do just that.  She also likes big showy ones like sunflowers and marigolds.

So this past Sunday morning, we parked ourselves on the couch, catalogs in hand and sticky note tabs at the ready.  I had some music playing, streaming on the laptop, mug of tea nearby.  She snuggled up to me and we set to.  

Fruits and vegetables came first, followed by the flowers.  As we made our way through the peppers and tomatoes, impatiens and sunflowers, Wee Lass carefully wrote our first initial followed by either 'V' for vegetable or 'F' for flower on each tab, and we affixed the note to each seed we liked.  In the end of course,  we ended up with far more selections than we could possibly manage, but it sure was great fun.

This year was extra special, because of what happened as we searched and marked.  Shortly after we started, I noticed Wee Lass bobbing and moving to the music.  It was either "The Long Cut" or "Chickamauga" off of the Anodyne album by Uncle Tupelo.  She seemed to really be getting into it, and I was amazed.  I didn't say anything because I didn't want to make her self-conscious about it.  A short while later, the song "We've Been Had" came on, and she started a little seat dancing.  I couldn't help but grin and laugh, and I asked if she liked this music.  She said yes, and wanted to know the title of the song and who it was by.  She kept it up into the next song, "Fifteen Keys", and I thought my heart was going to overflow, it was so full.

It felt so good sitting there in the sunlight bouncing from her bedroom windows and into the living room, sharing some things I care about with the vein of my heart, and basking in the wonder and joy of her discoveries.  We have something we can grow together, literally and figuratively.  We will plant some seeds later in the early spring, and maybe learn some new songs along the way as well.

We will grow together, and sing the joy of sunlight and music.  We will know love.

*Fedco and Burpee.  I am not receiving compensation of any kind from either company, I just like them.  I have had great success with Fedco seeds (love their catalog in particular) and I even have a cool Fedco shirt.  Burpee was my late G-maw's seed purveyor of choice.  When I was a boy I avidly looked forward to reading the catalogs when they arrived at her house.


  1. What a fantastic post Gumbo! Pouring over the seed catalogues at this time of the year is a joy unique to gardeners... it's wonderful, and it's lovely that you have your little daughter to share it with you. I'm with your daughter.... I love pink flowers too...... but I'm also fond of my runner beans. ;) Wishing you both lots of joy this year in the garden!

  2. How heartwarming and touching and stirring of my own old memories.

    Sunflowers. They grow so large, they amaze the young'uns. And you can get seeds.
    Watermelon, they grow anywhere, as long as there is water and sunshine. And she will love the idea... of watching it get big then eating it :)

    Have fun, you are a great Dad !

  3. I love all of your posts, but I think these - the ones where you talk about watching Wee Lass discover the world - are my very, very favorites.


  4. When my family was all here, we'd plant tomatoes and strawberries and broccoli in a garden patch and various flowers in the gardens around the property. I wish I still had the interest to plant things. Now it's all I can do to keep the darn weeds at bay.

    I miss my small kids around the house, but I do like the adults they've become! Enjoy Wee Lass's time with you! They grown up in the blink of an eye!

  5. Ah, you and the Wee Lass already know LOVE! What a heart-warming post. Your memories brought forth many similar memories of mine - going through seed catalogs with my grandmother. And of course, the clip from the movie, OMG, I'm going to have to watch that movie again. Thanks!!

  6. It's good to know that for certain small stretches of time... you've got it all.

  7. A tradition in the making! I love it! I'm sure as she grows older, she will hold these memories as dear as you do. Even when she's too cool to say so!
    Great post!

  8. So cool. Maybe you can take a series of photos with the wee one standing next to a growing sunflower stalk this summer. :-)

  9. Dude, we wait for the grand scene but these are the moments.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...