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Three Green Beans are Three Green Beans

I don't like living in town next door to retired people with beautiful lawns and gardens.

My second attempt at a garden is failing almost as miserably as the first; and what's worse is that, this time, I have neighbors around who watch it fail and feel the need to comment on it.

"You need to water your cucumbers more."

"What are you trying to grow there?"

(When I answered that cucumbers, watermelon, green beans, beets, and cilantro seem to be what are coming up, she said, "Well, the rabbits will eat the beets and the rabbits will eat the green beans and the carrots." When I said, "Syrus is pretty good about chasing off the rabbits," she said, "He doesn't get all of them." -- As if he could in our neighborhood, which is the land flowing with rabbits and pigweed.)

It squashes the simple pleasure of being close to the earth. Of seeing how much progress I've made finally getting all those weeds out of there. Of being thrilled to have enough cilantro to use in my recipes last week and some green beans to bring in to Ivan tonight.

Two nights a week, I don't return home until after dark. I don't work in the garden during the day because I don't want to get sunburnt. So on the nights I'm not working, I take Syrus for his walk after the sun starts going down, and usually spend some time in the garden, too. Except that's also when the neighbors are hanging out in their lawn. Gossipping about the neighbors' gardens.

I want to say, what I really need is time.

Ivan and I have full-time jobs. We're committed to making time for each other. We make time for our friends and for our families. We have passions of our own that we could spend 40 hours a week on, easily. Instead, we squeeze in an hour or two here, a weekend there. We try not to eat processed food, not to eat out too much, which leads to a lot of shopping and cooking. There's laundry and there's dishes, and I seem to be the only one on the block who is committed to walking my dog every day, the way you're supposed to.

If those 40 hours of paid work were taken care of, our garden would look a lot better, too. As it stands, it's just not my highest priority right now. My life and my days are full, and I'm not going to find the room to accommodate their judgment. Except that, in some ways I already have, by not even wanting to attempt this garden thing again.

I've never missed living in the country so much.


Don't let those snots get you down. They are not worth it.
Thanks, Paula. You're right, of course.