Friday, May 17, 2013

The Thrill of Spring

This time of year always reminds me of my dad. 

Not only was he the master gardener in my life growing up but he was the only person I knew who could pick out asparagus growing on the side of the road from the drivers seat of his Dodge pick up going 80km/hour!

Today I found myself (as I quite often do this time of year) trying to pick out the bulky stalks myself.  I've never been able to see it before it grows tall and goes to seed.  My response to finding it too late is always 'shit!'; knowing full well I will have to wait a full year to try again.  I feel like it would be a triumph of sorts if I did; like somehow my dad would be watching me and saying 'that's my girl'. 

As I drove down back country roads today I remembered his green handled paring knife that he kept in the glove box of his truck for just the right moment when he'd land some asparagus in his sights.  He barely had that truck stopped and in park before he was out of the drivers seat and into the ditch bank chopping down what he could of the green gold.

It was like a sport to him.

Every piece of asparagus the gold medal.

Actually I never really remember a destination on those country road drives.  Maybe we were just on the hunt for asparagus.  I do remember the windows rolled down, the breeze in my face and the sound of his knee smacking country music blaring from his truck speakers; Willie Nelson maybe or Stompin' Tom Connors.  He would sing and whoop and hollar like he was on top of the world.

I think spring was my dads favourite season.  It's when he'd get his garden growing (maybe the biggest garden in town at the time; definitely the biggest crop of rhubarb!).  He'd spend hours digging and hoeing and watering that garden, all summer long; beer(s) in hand.  It was his baby; his pride and joy.

It's when I'm in my own veggie gardens; planning and digging in the dirt that I feel the closest to the spirit of my father.

That's the real thrill of spring for me.


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