Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Constant Gardener

KCB is a professional gardener and friend who does wonderful work in the Greater Portland area. KCB is also an accredited Master Gardener by the Cooperative Extension Service and we are honored to have KCB as part of our Skillin's Garden Log family. KCB can also be found at the awesome Finishing Touches website.

This past February I began my 3rd year of writing for the Skillin’s Gardening Log. Those who read the postings on a frequent basis at times learned more about me than gardening. You’ve offered condolences at my surrendering a dog, felt the pain of The NE Patriots Super Bowl loss. Witnessed me moving away from the hill and back again. I have discussed relationships and even revealed the trials and tribulations of dating.

Not sure if I ever divulged that I once had a successful ‘corporate’ career, remain good friends with my former husband (I don’t like the term ex), sold a house I loved. There have been 3 occasions when I lovingly held a beautiful Golden Retriever as they peacefully drifted from this life. To this day my eyes fill and a sob catches in my throat when I recall the love of those dogs.

These events did not take place over a life time but in a span of 11 years! We have entered 2 decades since. Additionally, is it possible over 10 years has passed since we were celebrating Y2K? Many changes, most for better, others are still waiting for the verdict. Through all this I have had one constant, my truck.

Some of you may have seen it. A bright light blue pick-up truck, extended cab and a bed cap. Originally its purchase was a compromise. My Saab was getting old and SUVs were all the rage. My husband wanted a pick-up truck. We needed to make some changes to our landscape and a pick-up meant we could fill the bed w/mulch and loam, purchase shrubs and cash and carry the antiques and vintage furniture we were starting to collect.

To me a pick-up meant no place for our current Golden, Roxy. Where to put the groceries? This would be the vehicle I would drive as my Saab was the sacrifice. We settled on a 2 year-old GMC with a cap and extended cab. The cap could be removed for large hauls, a dog bed would add softness for my canine when the cap was on and behind the seats was more than enough room for groceries and a 4-legged companion during the cap less days of summer. The color was a little too bright yet years later it served as a signature. My truck was recognized everywhere. I would accessorize my truck with special vanity plates, DRUID.

This truck sat for hours in the parking lot of my former employer, been spotted in many driveways since my career change, even enlisted a client or two once I cloaked the doors with a magnetic sign. The steering wheel once felt the hands sporting a perfect French manicure. Feet wearing high heels pumped the pedals. Somehow I knew the truck was happier with a gardener at the helm. Weren’t trucks meant to work and not just look pretty?

Work that truck I did. The cap no longer was put in storage for the summer; the back was filled with well used tools, often filled to the gills with plants, shrubs, bags of compost. I left the bulk deliveries to the big boys.

As an escape I would often take long power rides. Happy Golden by my side. I devoured many audio books while driving. The truck assisted in one of the most heart breaking moves, followed by a celebratory move when dear friends were buying their dream house a few days after I sold mine.

Around town I often am greeted by an arm waving from the driver’s window as my truck is spied long before I notice the approaching vehicle.

For the past 2 of my truck’s 13 years it has been feeling the pangs of age which resulted in a pain in my wallet. The last 4 months has been a series of life support fixes until neither my finances nor my mechanic wanted to go any further.

Blessedly a friend offered to take it off my hands and offered me cash to boot. He is partial to GMCs and felt he could resurrect my baby blue druid to a working state.

It was surreal as I watched my truck back out from my driveway for the last time.

My next pick-up will not be bright blue nor don the druid plate. Like my truck, it is time to let go. The one that has been offered to me is older than the truck I said good-bye to. I have known this person since I was 18, which admittedly is more than a decade or two ago. He has witnessed more changes in my life than any other has. We call each other on birthdays and Christmas.

As a collector and repairer of autos I called one day to see if he knew of an available truck. He had a car or 2 available but a truck is what I must have. ‘Don’t tell me you are still doing that garden thing?’ he asked. An adamant ‘yes’ was my reply. This was met with his laughing, ‘glad some things haven’t changed’.

It has been said the only thing we can count on is that things will change. So be it.

I face a new season; look forward to my returning clients, feel sadness at those who have reason to no longer seek my services, will embrace the new coming aboard for the first time and hope to welcome a few additions. With all I have to look forward to I know one thing for sure, gardening is the one aspect of my life that is constant. Moreover, who among gardeners doesn’t know change? Let us all be constant gardeners…

KCB for Skillin's Greenhouses
March 17, 2010

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