It can be a bittersweet time of year this, the week after Christmas. Seed catalogs have started arriving which means it’s time to start planning the new gardening year and the anticipation is sweet. All gardens are perfect on January 1st. But it can be a bitter time as well because there’s only one week left in the regular football season. Your team is either in the playoffs or it’s “We’ll get ’em next year.”
Here in zone 7 on the Chesapeake, the Ravens are headed to the playoffs, so there are at least two more weeks of football that matter. That’s a good thing because based on the way I ended the season last fall, my garden is going to be hell to clean up and get ready for spring planting. I have two more weeks before I really have to think about the season ahead. Last year, I treated my garden the way the owner of the Carolina Panthers treated his team this year — I ditched it. So, I’d just as soon watch meaningful football for another couple of weeks, maybe even right up to February 6th.
Even though I may hide behind the gridiron now and secretly prepare for further escape in college hoops, I know what is waiting for me. I left myself an ugly reminder of the chaos. The first thing I see every morning as I leave for work is a big, green garbage bag half filled with garden debris. It has been there since October, since the baseball season ended. Waiting. Waiting for me to fill it with the dead and nasty weeds that strangled my tomatoes in July, went to seed in August, then died in the hard freeze of early December. Waiting for me to take responsibility for the moldering mess I left behind the garden gate.
But not today. Today, there are bowl games to watch. Maybe tomorrow before the Ravens finish their season by finishing off the Cincinnati Bengals. Maybe I’ll great rid of that reminder of last year’s disgrace in the garden. Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll stay down in this deep, dark hole.