Scratching the Itch

I haven’t been to The Little Woods lately, but I’m getting itchy. With such a mild winter so far I tend to forget we sometimes get ice and snow in March. It’s not quite planting season yet, but a warmish sunny day brings out the desire to dig in the dirt. This is not a desire held by many of my friends. Most of them can appreciate a beautiful yard, but they aren’t interested in getting dirt under their fingernails. They tend to get a blank look when I start talking flowers and bird feeders and garden equipment. They don’t understand the itch…..pity them.

Adding to the itch is the fact that between Christmas and my birthday, I received some great gifts to be used in The Little Woods and I’m antsy to give them a try. Daughter Chrissy gave me the perfect Tool Seat from The Earthly Way. It provides a portable seat and a tool bag, all in one. (Not to use my age as an excuse, but a woman in her sixties might need to give her knees and feet a little rest now and then.) Chrissy’s expertise in garden-related gift giving goes back to her high school days when she worked summers at a lovely family-owned nursery in Charlotte. She hefted plants and dragged hoses for watering and helped customers plan their landscaping. It was hard, hot work and she definitely got dirt under her fingernails.

My brother gifted me a Gorilla Cart, a heavy-duty, metal four-wheel beast. I’ve always wanted one! Strange desire for a girly girl, but there you have it. Underneath this 61-year-old prissy facade lurks a wild woman yearning for her own performance vehicle. The Gorilla can go places no other cart can go. Specifically, I can haul my plants and tools and bags of soil and fertilizer across the yard and up the hill into the woods, hopefully with a little less huffing and puffing and shin banging. Granted, it doesn’t drive itself, but it makes the pulling a bit easier. For my birthday Raymond also gave me a new set of garden clippers. Any gardener can appreciate new, sharp clippers for those spring pruning and trimming chores. He topped off my birthday with a gift card to my favorite bird store, Wild Birds Unlimited. I can’t wait to add on to my fancy feeding station.

And then last week my dear friend Crystal brought me a birthday gift of the sweetest little garden figurine. It’s a small turtle with a snail catching a ride on his back. Just precious, but it was the note that came with it that filled my heart. She wrote, “I hope this little turtle in your flower bed will remind you to please not try to carry the weight of the world on your back…..remember to take care of you.” As one of my nearest and dearest, Crystal has listened as I’ve struggled with all the complicated family issues weighing me down these last few months. She is a master of soothing the soul. This tiny turtle will find a perfect home in The Little Woods, a place that allows me to work out my frustrations and worries. A place that allows me to take care of me. Cold weather or not, it might be time to head to the woods and get a little dirt on my hands. It might be time to scratch the itch.

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