As Uncle Stevie Craft used to say, “If it ain’t one thing set on aggravating me to death, it’s half a bushel otherns.
I’m pretty sure I know exactly what he was talking about. I know, too, that complaining about them does not do a single thing to alleviate the aggravations and that most people are too busy coping with their own peculiar sets of miseries to be the least bit concerned about mine, but I growl and grumble about them anyway.
Over the last week I’ve suffered through a bout with pollen allergies that none of the normal pharmaceuticals seem to do anything in the way of symptom alleviation. My eyes burn, my temples throb with pain, the inside of my throat itches and my nose runs like a mountain spring right after a long, hard rain. On top of that I’ve had a mild fever throughout these days when daily heat indices have hovered near or just over 100 degrees.
I sit here thinking that the heat should be plague enough so why should I be punished with all this extra misery.
It started early last week right after I’d commenced harvesting the first little cartload of bodacious sweet corn from our garden right after the dew had pretty much dried off. I stayed indoors and sneezed the rest of that day. After trying three different allergy meds, the sneezing finally abated but I’m pretty sure the meds had nothing to do with what little relief I got.
Loretta found my industrial grade paint mask and safety goggles, both of which I wore to the corn patch late that evening. I may have looked more like I was prepared to perform surgery than gather corn, but it worked and that was the last peaceful night I’ve had in over a week.
Because while picking the corn I noticed that the Babe (Campbell) beans I’d planted with one row of corn were also ready for the first picking. Tannie Cornett, who lives at Ulvah, gave me the Babe Bean seed nearly 10 years ago and they are the best tasting beans I’ve ever grown. They look sort of like white half runners on steroids but, in my humble opinion, they taste much better.
Next week we are going to give them a taste comparison with the Big John’s I got from Kyle Whitaker but that’s a story that will wait until then.
In the meantime, on Tuesday morning of last week, I was so excited about the prospect of having my first mess of beans this growing season that I grabbed a five-gallon bucket and wobbled out to the garden to pick beans and completely forgot about the paint mask and goggles.
Huge mistake. All the aforementioned symptoms kept me up all that night and Loretta got very little sleep as well because of all my sneezing, gagging, hacking and coughing and, to make a long story short, it’s been that way every night since then because not a day has gone by that I didn’t make a trip to the garden for something and then slap myself on the forehead as soon as I got there and remembered, too late, that I wasn’t wearing the necessary protection.
Then, on Sunday evening Loretta yelled at me to come and see a Facebook photo of the vegetables that Joe and Connie Brown had grown in the garden behind the home next door to ours. The photo has them displaying a bushel basket more than half full of green beans and another with zucchini, yellow squash and half a dozen large, heirloom tomatoes.
“And to think they grew all this stuff in a bale of straw,” my wife exclaimed.
I actually went to bed thinking that was one heck of a harvest, but that there was no way it had been produced in a bale of straw as Loretta had led me to believe.
Turns out the only thing grown in the bale of straw were the tomatoes, but they were very impressive.
I’ve shared the photo on my Facebook page for anyone who wants to see it. I figured that since I can’t sleep for sneezing, I may as well get up and play on the ‘puter where, at least, I’m not more of an aggravation than normal to my wife.