Well, against my better judgment, we (“we” being my mom, dad, and I) went back out to our flood prone garden plot. It had been 2 weeks since it had flooded, and the ground was deeply cracked, parched light on the top, and showing moistly black in the cracks. Despite the difficult terrain, fledgling weeds were beginning to flourish.
I had called the Hopkins town hall to complain about the drainage, and they had offered me one of 2 other plots, but they were disappointingly close to my current plot, and completely overrun with weeds. So we decided to make the best of it, and pray for a summer devoid of torrential downpours.
The first time we’d planted, we were so full of hope and good cheer, carefully labeling all we’d planted, that it was all the more crushing to see our plot under 6” of water, just a few days later. The second time around, we weren’t so careful. We planted seeds higgledy piggledy without proper labels. It would be a triumph, we concluded, if anything green & edible grew.
Consequently, when green things started poking out of the earth in thin lines, I was THRILLED. It was like Frankenstein shocking the hell out of a dead body, and actually finding life.
And then the rain threatened again. All day Monday they kept using the term “torrential downpour”, and yet nothing happened. I went home over my lunch hour. I was wearing a flowery white top, a skirt, and heels that day, so I swapped the heels for work boots, and went into the garden with a shovel and grim determination. I was going to dig as much trench as possible until the rain came. I arrived back at work that day pink-faced, sweaty, and with black dirt smudging my legs, but I’d created a deep trench along one side of the plot.
That night it STILL hadn’t rained. I lured my boyfriend to my house with the promise of dinner & a movie, but then asked him to help me dig trenches around the garden. Graciously, he agreed to help. We spent 2 hours out there, slinging dirt into unused plots, sweating profusely, ignoring our aching low backs, and slapping at voracious mosquitoes.
It did finally rain in the wee hours that night. And the next day. Nothing particularly “torrential”, but slow and steady can become worrisome too. I went down to see how things stood, and was thrilled to see that the trenches were full to the brim with muddy water, but the plot itself, was still above water.
More rain, and a growing sense of unease, followed, but I felt that we’d done all we could, so I went about my business. I came home one night to find a bucket, and some muddy boots in a garbage bag on my doorstep. The boyfriend had stopped by while I was out, and scooped water from the trenches, thus securing himself the title of nicest boyfriend ever.
More rain is in the forecasts, but I’m optimistic that we’ve remedied the flood danger. I am dimly aware that there are other dangers ahead, but for now, I am content.