"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What's Real and What Isn't


Greenhouse update: We added another three-tier shelf to the 6 x 8 house so I could get some of the flats off the ground and my feet inside the door. My tomatoes are 5-6inches tall, attempting to outgrow their pots. Everything is finally coming up; even the slow-germinating peppers are sticking their soggy heads through the soil. The melons are spreading, all pumped up and a lush green, and the red cabbage is a nice rosy color. The brussel sprouts look similar to white cabbage when they first start out. The eggplant is also a little slow, like the peppers, but they are starting to unfurl. On another note, it was 66 degrees when I got up this morning, warmer outside than in, so I’m off to the garden for direct sowing of cold weather crops—radishes, arugula, lettuces, broccoli and onions. The dark horizon promises an afternoon shower so we must not tarry over coffee and unfinished novels. There will be a time for that.

Seven hours later. The promised thunderstorm arrived about 4pm. The winds were so high they blew my new shelf over and dumped the contents of the flats—dirt everywhere and fledgling plants uprooted. Topsy-turvy and who is who? The eggplant and the peppers look alike at this stage of the game. Woe is me. I tried to right them as much as possible. Maybe they’ll right themselves.

So what did you do for Earth Day? I was the stooge for a tree-planting photo op. You’ve seen the staged photos; people huddled around a sapling with shovels stuck strategically in the dirt, as they pose for the camera. The main honchos are in front and put their backs to the shovel as if they'd actually risk getting dirt on their high-heeled shoes. But one must at least pretend to be an arborist on Earth Day.

Smile. Click, click. Smile.

I was bamboozled into just such a fake photo at my airport, me in my uniform providing a backdrop of authenticity for two higher-ups who would never risk breaking a nail in such a manner. Never, never, never. I was duped into being a prop.

The idea was commendable-we at TSA would all chip in money and buy a tree to plant on airport grounds for Earth Day. Who wouldn’t get on board with that? We even got two for the price of one. Who could fault that? The first whiff of trouble drifted my way when I learned they bought ornamental pear trees, in other words “fake” trees, not indigenous-to-Michigan trees. But then the airport doesn’t want messy droppings, fruit, nuts, and leaves, etc. They lean towards evergreens and/or trees with tiny leaves, not big messy maples and real Michigan fruit trees.

But back to the duping. They pulled a group of us off the floor, and anyone who works as a screener for TSA is always ready to get off the floor. We walked outside to the front mall area in short-term parking and there were our trees—90pct planted by airport groundskeepers; only lacking the top 4-5 inches of dirt to be shoveled in and tamped down. Those of us who were actually involved with the idea and the purchase were there but we had to wait for our leader to validate our efforts and grasp the shovel . . . the driving force. Click.

Finished, she dropped the shovel and rushed back inside with her hands outstretched as if up to the elbows in cow manure. As if she'd been digging through the garbage in the slums of Lahore. At the checkpoint she asked for the hand sanitizer.

“Where’s the hand sanitizer? I need hand sanitizer.”

Click, click.

2 comments:

Laura said...

Sorry to hear about your plant babies... maybe some hand sanitizer could help them too? ; )

Yvonne said...

Ha! They'll be okay. They've already recovered. Resilient. I hope those fake, non-indigenous trees do half as well.