Silver Linings: I know nothing about gardening, but am determined to learn

Yesterday we planted kale, spinach, and broccoli rabe. Today we will plant onions, snow peas, and sugar snaps. Loads of onions. I love onions. In Italy, onions are known as the regina della cucina–queen of the kitchen. Snow peas and sugar snaps make me think of sweet peas which make me think of my grandmother who grew up impoverished in Montana. She wanted to write a novel, Sweet Peas and Rattlesnakes, but never did. Instead, she employed the oral tradition and told stories across her life. I spent the past thirty years understanding how to turn them into fiction. My mother loved to garden, but her memory is gone, so as I sort this out, my garden, I rely on friends, the internet, and the channeling of my grandmother’s determination as she made her way through childhood in a bleak Montana. As it happens, she survived the 1918 flu pandemic in that state — one of the hardest hit in the nation. I could quote some of the things she said, but they hit too close to home right now and I don’t want to scare myself–Silver Linings. She did mention that it was believed the Germans sent the virus in little envelopes. Sound familiar? Back to the garden and all that I need to learn…. For example, I had always thought that sweet peas were like sugar snaps, a delicious edible pea. Today I learned that they are poisonous, if fragrant, flowers. My grandmother’s title, Sweet Peas and Rattlesnakes, today takes a much darker turn. Gardening: Any tips? I love tips.

Inspired by Jenny McPhee

3 thoughts on “Silver Linings: I know nothing about gardening, but am determined to learn

  1. Love that you’re able to be with your mom — and taking up gardening can be a wonderful family event. Funny about the onions. You’ll be able to make onion soup until, as the old saying goes, the cows come home. I remember Tommy talking about the flu epidemic in Montana, although not too many details. Didn’t they live in Lame Deer?
    So glad you and Jenny are doing the Silver Linings. Great idea and I, for one, am cheered by the posts. So eager for your book to come out. Love to all.

    1. Grammy lived all over Montana. I believe she was in Butte during the flu epidemic, but that could just be the way I wrote in the novel. Not sure anymore. She did live on the Lame Deer Reservation. Thanks, Pat!

  2. Love onions, Montana, gardens and the hope of a future harvest. This day is blessed with fields of promise in the defiant sun. Darkness shall not last long. Hope is a fine four letter word.

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