Sunday, May 15, 2016

How does your garden grow?

When Alison is an old woman and someone asks her about her mother, she will not likely tell stories that could confuse me with Mrs. Cleaver.

She might, though, talk about a tradition we've had for the last several years: preparing the Angie's List garden. Ali hasn't made it every year, but she's more regular than some of our staff. Kelsey Taylor -- our Fitness Director and a great friend -- and I have been getting dirty every May together.

This year, in fact, Kelsey was also my chauffeur as my Mustang is in the shop and Jeff had plans that involved his being away in the Subaru.

The first year Ali helped in the garden, she was substantially shorter than me and it's possible she was more in the way than helpful. One year she napped among the fruit trees. This year, though, she was awesome.

She helped me shovel manure from the back of a pickup truck, planted mint transplanted from our garden at home into a vintage wheel barrow and lettuce seeds and other seedlings in the dirt; she helped us pickup some plants at a local nursery and at the end of the day harvested eggs from Kelsey's chicken coop.

We went hard at it for about three hours with about 20 other Listers. By the end of the tour, we had weeded the 30 or so raised beds and filled them with either seeds or young plants. All summer long, we'll have our pick of tomatoes, herbs, melons, cucumbers, peppers and a bunch of other great veggies.

The garden is tended by a larger group of Listers, who pitch in to weed and water throughout the spring and summer. Anyone in the garden club has their fill of whatever grows out there. It's a good deal, a good thing and more fun than work.

The annual planting event was a great day -- especially after our 46-degree/wind chill of minus 12 day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Angie's List Grand Prix. We got a late start to the 3:30 race while Jason and Jim Bradbury got there when it was probably still 30 degrees with a wind chill of minus 40. Clearly, they are better race fans than we are.

With 20 laps to go, Jeff suggested to Alison that she could go to the car if she wanted. I walked her from the bleachers to the parking lot and was nearly to our seats when Jeff and our neighbor/friend Jason Green found me on the return trip. "We're cold, too," they said.

The Bradburys were hardier sorts. Poor Jim -- a Nascar rather than an Indycar fan -- had waited all day in the windy cold to see the Grand Prix and the only Indycar driver he really likes: Tony Kanaan.

Unfortunately, as the pack of cars headed for the first turn of the race, Scott Dixon bumped a car that bumped a car and ended up pushing Kanaan into the wall and out of the race.

It would be almost three hours before the race ended and he and Jason found heat again. Nevertheless, they said they'd had a great time and would come again. Of course that was by text as I was already sitting on a heated seat en route home.

Between the track and the garden, I'm going to be in a world of hurt tomorrow. But it was a great weekend. Well worth a memory or two.

No comments: