Wednesday, July 20, 2011

it's a jungle out there

Yesterday, we got back from Europe.  It was fun, but that is a topic for another post.  First, and non-chronologically, I am going to write about coming home.  I am sure that if you read this blog regularly, you'll note that the last time I posted was July 6, which is some time ago.  Before that, I had been struggling to write.  I kept feeling like I have nothing to say.  But sometimes, that's when you really SHOULD be writing.  At any rate, I'm first going to tell you about our pumpkin, and then we'll come back to this.

Anyway, before we left, we had this vine thing growing near our compost.  I know you're not supposed to grow "volunteer" plants out of your compost, because they are prone to disease, etc.  But I thought the vine was a pumpkin, and kind of couldn't resist the thought of growing our own Halloween pumpkin.  For free. The vine kept getting larger and larger.  I would occasionally run it over with the lawn mower to keep the pathway clear and de-tangle it from other plants it seemed to be trying to choke.  Then we went to Europe. I came home to this:


In case you're failing to appreciate what we have going on here, this is what our deck is starting to look like:

The kids were thrilled at their growing skills.  I was wondering how much of the plant I could hack off and not kill it.  Then, the kids showed me this:

Our pumpkin is not a pumpkin at all.  It's a gourd.  Rather, it's about 17,000 gourds, judging by the number of blossoms and baby-gourds it's growing.  This raises a number of questions with me, like "How many gourds does one family need?"  "What do you do with a gourd?"  and "HOW THE EFF DID A GOURD GET INTO OUR COMPOST?"  I have no recollection of putting a gourd in our compost, but apparently we did.  And funnily enough, this is the only vegetable I've grown with much success this summer.  As much as I like gardening, I'm not very good at it.  Except, apparently, when it comes to gourds.

So we are going to take the gourd plant as a gift from whomever, and grow a few gourds, then rip it out. I'm going to hack at the plant in the meantime, so it doesn't strangle anything else.  And I am going to count it as vegetable-growing success, however accidental.

And now, as promised, back to the blog.  I don't know why, exactly, I haven't been blogging lately, other than that vague, feeling-like-I-have-nothing-to-say thing.  My life has felt a bit out of control lately, maybe that's it.  Like, oh, I don't know, a gourd taking over our deck.  I'm not very laid-back, and I don't particularly care for the unexpected.  But it is something I've been trying to work on.  So I'm going to try to treat life like the gourd.  Maybe not everything is what I expected, maybe life is a little lumpy and useless sometimes.  But the period of chaos will end, and I can harvest what I want from it, then hack my life back into submission.  And suddenly, and I stood on the deck looking at the gourd this morning, I wanted to blog again.  So here I am, and I'll take that too.

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