I just returned from a longer-than-a-week business trip (well, business trip capped off by a birthday weekend with my parents), and even though I was away from the garden for longer than I might have liked, the garden, clearly, was not far from me.
1. National security threat
As I was going through security on my way out of Cedar Rapids last Sunday morning, a TSA agent helping shuffle belongings into the x-ray came to full attention, grabbed something off a gentleman’s bag, and flung it to the side as hard as she could.
“Japanese beetle,” she said. “I only know because my mother’s always pulling them out of her raspberry bushes.”
2. The bush-who-must-not-be-named
For weeks, I’ve been driving by a particular kind of flowering bush in town, suffering from a terrible and pernicious mental block.
No matter what I did, I could not remember the name of the stupid flowers.
But then I opened the book I’d brought with me on the trip: Book 5 of the Harry Potter series (I’m trying to race through the series again in preparation for the final installment), and there was Harry. Hiding. Behind a Hydrangea bush.
Hydrangea. Of course.
3. A cross word
The clue for 84 Across on the United crossword puzzle for July:
Miracle-____ (plant food).
4. No money where my mouth is
As I hurtled down a road outside Emmaus, Pennsylvania, in search of The Farmhouse (eat there if you’re in the neighborhood…it’s mighty tasty…), a baby bunny appeared in the center of the road.
I screamed. My boss screamed. My other co-worker, who was in the back, made an unintelligible noise. I braked, I swerved, I cringed as we rolled overtop of the little, fuzzy, cute, not-eating-my-plants-so-for-a-second-I-felt-sorry-for-it creature.
After we’d passed over it with no thump and no sign of squashed rabbit in the rearview mirror, my coworker in the back, who had admitted earlier to being a regular blog reader, said, “I can’t believe you didn’t try to hit it.”
5. No children, just tomatoes
At a business dinner, my clients and my co-workers were making their way around the table, exchanging kid stories. I’m always prepared for moments like these. I come armed with stories about my godson, my college roommates’ kids, and the various children who belong to my various cousins.
But as the attention turned to me on this particular night—as one of the clients said, “So, Genie, do you have any children?”—my boss, who is always quick with an excellent response, whether it’s in a business meeting or not, said, “She has an excellent blog. About gardening. She grows tomatoes.”
And thus, the conversation turned to my tomatoes. About which, as you regular readers know, I have plenty of stories.