“Life sort of unfolds, and certain things, which you can’t plan, reveal themselves at the right time.” Goldie Hawn
I love to grow heirloom tomatoes from seed because it’s a thrill to see the little plants burst out of the soil while it’s still grey and freezing outside. Plus, growing from seed gives you the largest selection of tomato varieties. I usually spend many happy hours in January perusing my favorite seed websites and tomato growers’ forum to select the varieties I want to grow.
But this winter was harsh and instead I whiled away the hours shoveling snow. I felt depressed and hopeless about planting any seeds because I didn’t see how I would cover the expense of getting the soil ready. However, I had promised my neighbor I would grow some seeds for her so I had to do it. Then I felt depressed and hopeless because I didn’t get around to ordering my seeds until March and didn’t plant them until March 27. I figured that meant I might not have seedlings mature enough to plant and hardened off until the end of May: just in time for our area, if I were lucky. But I still didn’t see how I could afford new potting mix for the half of my garden that grows in containers.
When you can’t see your goal, it’s hard to move forward. But I could see the next step, and then the next, and the next, and day-by-day I kept going, frightened and depressed as I was. If it was too expensive to do the right soil preparation for the containers to grow tomatoes, then I would grow basil and marigolds in them. At least I would grow eight tomato plants in the raised bed garden I share with with neighbor and deliver the plants I’d promised.
Then last week luck and inspiration opened the way for me to have room for all the varieties of tomatoes I was growing. The luck: my neighbor got me a load of compost for only $35, enough for my containers, raised bed garden and the patch where I grow Yellow Doll watermelons for the sweet Jehovah’s Witness who has been visiting our family for about the last 20 years. Then the inspiration: shades of Norman Borlaug and organic(ish) methods be damned, I own Miracle Gro! If I deep root water my containers every time with a dilute solution of Miracle Gro, my tomatoes will thrive in the potting mix I have supplemented with a bit of the new compost.
So the lesson is that there’s only so much you can plan ahead in some situations. But if you have a goal and just get started and keep doing each day’s tasks to make progress, then you give luck, inspiration and helpful people a chance to help you attain it.
So I am jumping back into blogging. It has been difficult to write because my father is 98 now and I have to be more vigilant and spend more time sitting with him to keep him feeling cheerful. I also have to cook almost everything for him from scratch due to his low-sodium diet. I can’t work at my desktop computer while I’m doing those things. I need a computer I can carry around so I can watch the stove or sit with my father and write. I need a laptop. And I’m in a catch-22 trying to earn the money to buy it myself because I can’t get to my desktop computer to do the work that would make me the money to buy the laptop.
I mentioned my dilemma to a wise friend, who pointed out that if I resume writing for my blog and don’t ask for donations, I’m stopping the flow of love. Face palm! She reminded me that I feel good when I can help people and that I ought not deny the people who do feel kindly toward me and want hear more of what I have to say the chance to feel good by making it possible for me to write more. A laptop could get me about 15-20 more hours of productivity, writing-wise, per week. It would give me the chance to build a career that would enable me to support myself when my father is gone. I don’t have any savings due to long-standing health challenges, which my doctors considered hopeless. However, thanks to reader donations, which gave me access to the tools and medical care I needed over the last four years, it looks like I’ve resolved them and I’m finally healthy enough to work. Obtaining a laptop is the next step.
So if you feel kindly toward me, it’s affordable for you and it would uplift you, I will be very grateful for your donation to my laptop fund. I will send donors a link to a members-only newsfeed site I’m developing as a thank-you gift. It’s in a rudimentary stage now, but when I have the laptop and can work regularly, I look forward to making it something convenient and useful for people who love having a bird’s eye view of the top headlines of leading blogs and news sites in a variety of subject areas.