Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Seed therapy

Usually, by the time the calendar reaches the end of February, I've reached the end of my rope - in terms of winter. Not that I don't like winter - because I do.
Just not too much of it!

The same sort of snowfall that brought a smile in December now brings a frown.
The feeling of satisfaction that comes after plowing our driveway is replaced with grumblings of "not again!"
And the prospect of bundling on layer upon layer of bulky clothing to beat the cold becomes too daunting - far easier to just stay inside.

My tried & true remedy for these February blahs is to plant seeds ... to dig my hands in the dirt and imagine spring, and summer, and greenness, and warmth. Depending on my mood, which depends on how long & severe the winter has been, I often start seeding too early. I come by this honestly. Apparently my grandfather could never wait to seed his tomatoes and regularly ended up with massive plants long before the weather allowed him to transplant them into the field.

This year was just the same ... but totally different!

In terms of the weather, winter never really came.
We only had a couple of small snowfalls - certainly not enough to tire of it.

I plowed our driveway just 1 time - mostly because I wanted to, not because it really needed it. But the blade sits there ready & waiting.

And it hasn't been very cold at all. Certainly the fruit trees would have preferred temperatures a little colder, and more consistent.

This winter was different because both my parents passed away.
Mother died suddenly & unexpectedly in late November, and Dad already in failing health followed her last week.

I miss them a lot!

It was my parents who taught me how to plant seeds. I remember Dad pulling small furrows through the garden soil, then showing me how to drop the seeds in one by one using the width of my hand to get the proper spacing. We started with the bigger seeds - peas & beans - and as my skill increased, we moved to smaller seeds - radishes, beets, carrots. Planting corn was fun because we walked barefoot down the furrow, using our feet to measure the distance between the seeds. Potatoes too. And after he covered the pieces of seed potato we got to walk on the row to push the soil down.

This winter I started my seeding quite early in February. We've already been eating pea shoots & sunflower shoots, and the lettuce & other greens are almost ready too. Herbs & onions are up.

 I needed to dig in the dirt, touch the seeds, feel the warmth of the sun, see the new, green shoots poking out of the soil, and smell the damp, warm air in the greenhouse - to nurture the seeds, and to let them nurture me.

And to remember ...

Elsie Thiessen    Sept.12, 1926 - November 28, 2011
Peter Thiessen    Jan. 6, 1919 - Feb. 21, 2012


  1. :( sorry for your losses
    hopefully they are reunited and enjoying sweet and juicy peaches.

  2. thanks Haya,
    in fall my parents celebrated their 60th anniversary.
    I choose to believe they are still celebrating!

  3. That is a beautiful picture of them!

  4. I follow you well-written and interesting blog regularly and was hoping for something about your parents' legacy. Thank you for this beautiful tribute. I never met them, but I do see Nancy's strong resemblance to her/your father. (I was Nancy's co-worker at Belmont for a number of years.)

    Peace to you and your family.

  5. thanks Jennifer, Johnny & Martha for your kind comments!