We are back from our vacation, where I saw many varieties of palms and coconuts falling to the ground and beautiful low-growing trees and what Eric tells me are locust trees. And, of course, a lot of sand and surf. We arrived today, entering our house that seemed oddly…vertical (I still haven’t figured out why; maybe the empty spaces on the walls?) and reacquainting ourselves with home.

I went to the kitchen and saw the produce Edith had laid out from her week of taking care of the garden: six tomatoes, two cucumbers, and a zucchini longer than my arm. I don’t know what she was thinking. Anyway, I knew that wasn’t a week’s harvest–more like a day’s, and I didn’t think she would have taken the other six days’ worth home–and I missed the garden anyway, so I grabbed my harvest bowl and told Eric I’d be right back.

The garden is a mess. There are weed flowers and seeds everywhere. The sunflowers had mostly fallen down, one draped over the neighbor’s fence, another across the path. The amaranth was collapsed upon itself like a group of drunken friends at two o’clock in the morning. The drying Hutterite beans seemed mostly, inexplicably, gone. A brown, mushy pepper hung on the pepper plant. The tomato plants were tumbled and fallen above miserable red splotches of squashy decay.

I picked a bowlful of tomatoes and cucumbers and got rid of the rotting ones as I could. Rotting tomatoes smell like ketchup, it turns out. I didn’t finish; I was already grumpy and hot and dissatisfied from other things going on, and I didn’t have the heart. It turns out that there were high winds and a lot of rain this past week, and Edith didn’t find it easy to get to the garden to pick things (not to mention the other things going on).

I’ve been enjoying the overgrown nature of my garden, but this is more than overgrown, and it’s unmanageable. So there will be much for me to do this week to get it back, if not under control, then at least under management.

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