Search This Blog

Sunday, June 5, 2011


And when your back stops aching
 And your hands begin to harden ...
You'll find yourself a partner in the Glory of the Garden
~Rudyard Kipling~

Whew!  What a week!  For those that don't know my story, my husband and I live in two different states.  About five years ago, he purchased this little cottage for me  after noticing that my asthma always improved when I visited my mother in Michigan.  Romantic isn't it?  It was and still is, a very humble abode and our intention was just for me to live in it during the summer.  But along the way, my health improved so much and I fell in love with this quirky little village, so we decided it would be best for me to stay on and work at improving this  little bungalow with the goal of making it a retirement home for the two of us.  Why didn't we find a place that the two of us could live in together?  Unfortunately, chemical companies are never located in bucolic areas, and my husband is a very remarkable chemist.   Anyway, to make a long story short, my dear husband has been here for the entire week.  It has been a sort of preview of what the retired life will be like with my old sweetheart. All I can say is that I'll never be bored!

On day one, he noticed a truck with a load of  firewood parked at the farmer's market. " Doesn't that look like a bit much?" I dared to ask.  "No just a couple of cords.  It's not too much."   he replied.  So the next thing I see is a big old truck dumping tons of firewood on our driveway.  Sometime after stacking the fourth or fifth cord, he finally admitted it was a tad bit more than he thought.  Since we only use our woodstove to take a chill off or in emergencies, I think the wood will probably rot before we  use it all.  But you'd have to meet my dear husband to understand that his credo is "more is more!" .  When he insulated the attic, he bought enough insulation for the Biltmore estate, not a 1000 square foot cottage.

Day two was time to get the rest of the garden planted. Long, hard, and hot work but eight hours later our garden looks like an illustration out of a Beatrix Potter book.  He even made an adorable twiggy trellis for the beans.  A weed-free vegetable garden with its straight rows of greenery is a thing of beauty indeed!

The next day we rearranged our bedroom.  Living in such tight quarters, we are always experimenting with ways to maximize the space, and a new arrangement was badly needed.  While the room was in such disarray, he noticed that I had a lot of things stored under the bed.  So he organized everything into plastic bins and labeled them.  When I mentioned that there was no room to store them, he rearranged the attic!  One of the most wonderful things about my husband, is that he is one of the hardest workers, you'll ever meet.  When other women complain about how hard it is to get their husband off the couch and do something around the house, I can never relate.  Mention that the walls need washing and he'll have the room cleared of all the furniture, the walls washed, and while we're at it might as well give them a new paint job, quicker than you can say "Jack Robinson".

The rest of the days were a kind of blur. There wasn't a waking moment that some machine, be it a rotor tiller, lawn mower, weed whacker,  a chainsaw or drill wasn't being used.  After he left this morning, I sat and listened to the birds.  It was the like the calm after the storm.  My husband looks like Teddy Roosevelt, as a matter of fact, we used to have a picture of Teddy hanging in our hallway and when people stopped by we would tell them that was Ran's grandfather.  The always remarked that the looked exactly alike.  Then we would laugh and let them in on the joke.  People always wrote that Teddy was a human dynamo, a machine in perpetual motion.  If I believed in reincarnation, which I don't, I would seriously believe that I am married to Teddy, reincarnated!


  1. So, Jane, would you rent him out for a week or two? I sure could use the extra hands. The Mister is about to crawl from all he had to do this week! LOL

    Your garden is BEA-U-TI-FUL! Wow! I can't wait to see it all up and growing! What a thing of pleasure! It would be a joy to work in that lovely garden!

    Enjoy your more restful week!

  2. Maybe that's how we'll have to make extra money when he retires Matty!

  3. What a neat story of your cottage, Jane. How lucky you are - to have your cottage and better health as well!

    Hope we see photos of your gardens as the summer progresses!

  4. Sandy, we lived in the corridor between Chicago and Milwaukee. The sky was always orange. I forgot how beautiful blue it was (see the picture?).Now I'll never take it for granted again. Also, we never saw stars at night because all the lights from the cities eternally lit up the sky. Will definitely post pictures as the garden grows!

  5. Loved your post today Jane! Your husband sounds like a very dear and wonderful man who wants to make sure that you are "safe and sound" and very warm! You never know, that fire wood may come in real handy one day.

    When we found ourselves with tons of extra firewood, we bought a little fire pit at Home Depot. We enjoy having bon fires in the back yard. We love to gather friends and family, and we each cook our own skewers of meat and veggies over the flames. We also go through piles of marshmellows. :) The smoke from the fire also helps to keep the mosquitos away in the summer. It's like going camping in our own yard. Which is a big deal for a city girl like me!

    I know what you mean, I absolutely love living in the country too. I can't imagine going back to Los Angeles. How I would miss all of the kind neighbors in my little town, the dirt roads and the slower pace of life. Our health improved dramatically as well when we left the city. One of us was sick with a cold or sore throat every other month and I had very bad bronchitis at least a couple of times every year. Now we rarely have that kind of sickness. Perhaps it is the environment or maybe the lower stress has helped our immune systems.

    Your garden is beautiful, I hope you reap a bountiful harvest. Have a lovely evening and a good week ahead! Delisa :)

  6. That's a good idea about the fire pit Delisa! Not having to drive through Chicago, especially the Loop, has had to have helped to add years to my life. Talk about stress!

  7. Dear Jane,

    Your husband does sound like a dynamo! Mine gets pooped out after mowing the lawn (although it IS a big lawn)! :)

    Here's wishing a most wonderful garden for you this year, and that you can find a way to use all that firewood!



  8. Enjoy the calm after the storm! I love time like that. When you actually deserve the rest and can just sit for a minute appreciating the fruits of your labor.

    It sounds like it might be good that your husband does leave for awhile... whew.

    Blessings, Debbie

  9. Thanks Marqueta! It looks like it will be a good year for the garden, barring any unforeseen quirks of nature. The cool spring made all the perennials very lush and lots of blossoms on the fruit trees.You should see how many buds we have on the roses. God is indeed good!

    Hi Debbie! I really think that our living arrangement works for us. I hear so many of my friends complain about their husbands, but I'm always happy to see mine. Today I'm being lazy. It feels so good!

  10. Enjoyed your posting... You've got a real GIFT in that man of yours... even if his judgement tends to be a bit off on the wood pile stuff... LOL!

    Enjoy your day off........

  11. I've tried repeatedly to respond to posts on your blog and Ruth's for with no luck yesterday, so I'm hoping today's will

    Sounds like you have a great guy -- for all the help and for moving you away from the pollution.

    I've been to Chicago several times and being a country girl I am always amazed by the amount of pollution. However, I will hubby and I agree if we ever move to a "real" city Chicago would be our first choice.

  12. Brenda, someday I'll have to tell you how God chose him for me. An interesting tale.

    Shara, it seems Blogger is having another one of it's muck-ups. I read about it on Delisa's blog. That old saying, "It's a nice place to visit but you wouldn't want to live there." applies to Chicago. I'm still fascinated by their corrupt politics and listen to Don Wade and Roma on the internet everyday. Expensive there too.