Thursday, October 6, 2011

It Ain't Over...

I don’t know who the genius was who first said “It ain’t over til it’s over,” but I got to hand it to him—I think he may have been on to something.

I’m sure you’ll remember my end-of-season gardening wrap-up a few months ago. It was ugly. Really ugly. And the worst of it was, I had tried so hard. Nobody wanted to grow veggies as badly as I did. For two years now (remember this?), I slaved over gardening, building the perfect raised bed, buying the best, most expensive organic soil, tending to my budding plants religiously. I was careful not to over water, careful not to underwater, diligent about weeding, mulching, and fertilizing. I talked to the plants, for heaven’s sake.

And for all my tender loving care, for all my dedication, I got . . . nothing. Zip. Zero, Bupkis. (Now doesn’t that word look funny written out!). Any way you look at it, Mother Nature had given me the shaft. Why, I can’t begin to imagine. All I wanted was a few tomatoes, maybe an herb or two. Was that too much to ask?

Apparently it was.

In udder disgust, I threw up my hands and threw in the towel. That was it. Screw organic farming. Next year, I was going to buy the chemicallyist chemicals Miracle Gro could conjure and I was going to lay it on so thick the freaking dirt would glow in the dark. For now, however, my pathetic excuse for a garden could suck it.

Turning my back on my spindly, fruitless tomato plants, I put it out of sight and out of mind.

Well. Yesterday, I decided the weather was just too gorgeous to be cooped up inside, and took the dogs outside to play. Despite my best efforts, black lab Maggie managed to evade my watchful eye for the three seconds required to romp into the lake, splashing in like a hundred pound duck on a botched landing. Knowing she had won this round, I gave up trying to corral the dogs on the upper tier of our yard and tromped down to the dock for the first time in at least a week—probably closer to two.

And that’s when something odd caught my. Red. Bright, tiny pinpoints of red, peppering a plant in my peripheral vision. I froze. Could it be? Could it really truly be . . . there was only one way to find out. Taking a breath, I turned and looked, and instantly gasped in amazement. My grape tomato plant was positively exploding with fruit!

Pulling my shirt tails up in an impromptu sling, I dashed to my planters and began plucking my bounty. There must have been dozens of them! For every one I plopped in my shirt, I tossed one in the lake since it had over-ripened. And it wasn’t just my grape tomato plant; one, single, brave young tomato clung to my Better Bush plant, offering itself up like pretty little Christmas gift.

I laughed, and danced, and popped the luscious red fruit in my mouth. Success!! In the most primitive way I know, I had done something. Erin plant food. Food grow. Erin eat.

Haha! The circle of life, played out right before my eyes in my own backyard. The moral of the story? Never give up! Never surrender! Success may be just around the corner, so don’t give up yet because baby, it ain’t over till it’s over!

So take heart, my dear Cake Readers. If you are working toward something that you really want: publication, a job, a family, anything—have faith! You never know when the fruits of your labor may come to pass, and all the work will have been worth it :)


  1. I love this post. Great reminder, Erin!

    PS, I saw your book go up on Amazon! SO exciting.

  2. Thanks so much, Marnee :) And OMG about the book - I had no idea! What a fun, red-letter day for me.
    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. Great looking tomatoes.

    Too bad I can't just ignore my stories and they will magically write themselves. That requires sitting in the chair and doing more than staring at the blank screen. :)

  4. Ha - if only, Beth! I guess good old perseverance is in order sometimes. Thanks for stopping by - and good luck with the writing!

  5. Hahaha! We were JUST talking about how nothing grew last week -- that's amazing! Congrats, they look yummy:)

  6. I love this!!!! Yay, you!!!! Doesn't it always happen like that in life and love? And now gardening. ;)

    Congrats again on all of your sucesses. I'm so proud and excited for you. :))))

  7. I've often thought about planting tomatoes, but I can kill plants by just looking at them. Yours look delicious :)

  8. They WERE delicious, Jenny! They tasted like sweet success :-) I only wish that I had more