A year ago I toiled haphazardly in the little patch of dirt I had stolen from the sod.

That garden struggled. Amid the chaos of moving too much stuff and the enormous task of shepherding us all through the mental shock of our deceptively subtle relocation, nurturing the tomatoes and cucs just didn’t land high on the to-do list.

This year, just look what we’ve done.

I say we because I’m not the type of girl to coach a project like this from the sidelines. Just ask my mother-in-law: I got my hands (and most of the rest of me) dirty. I measured and cut and dug trenches for fencing. I helped problem solve when we bumped into logistical troubles.

And of course, I sought out a little Pin-spiration to guide our plans.

But this garden fence, especially the ultimate design of its arbor and gate, is Joe’s creation.

What lies within is all mine. Definitely the beds framed with logs I hauled from the woods myself. And the many varieties of seed I planted and weeded. Some of them required patience as I waited for the seeds that my young  helpers may have poked in too deep.

I’ve been doing a ridiculous happy dance around the tomatoes, my first successful ones from seed. Perhaps they’re a little tall and thin, and yes, their lower leaves, wilted a bit their first week in the garden. But now that the shock has worn off, they are full of new growth and blooms. Amazing.

All of that work and all of that patience is resulting in this wonderful, peaceful, and soon fruitful place. I just love it.

All just in time for Maya’s birthday, the girl who always has her picture taken by my garden.

She had a weekend of birthday celebrations a couple of weeks ago. One night was full of new friends cultivated during this first year in a new school. I can’t tell you how lovely it was to see those girls giggle and play and… well, they pet the chicks more than you’d expect.

And the next night, she reveled in a reunion with old friends. After too much time apart, these kids were still like sisters.

These long spring days have been quite industrious, leaving less time for writing than I would like. The evenings we spend outside, surrounded by the roaring song of a million chorus frogs, are filled with contentment as we survey all that’s been successfully transplanted this year.

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