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Musings About Family, Travel And Gardening With Allen Martinson.


Time Travel

I am happy to say that I am home on a Thursday afternoon. Yep, my yard is calling out to me but that “heat dome” is groaning even louder. I’ve overdone it in the heat too many times not to head the groan. I dont always feel heat exhaustion until it’s too late. It takes a long and miserable recovery time to get right again,sometimes leading into the night with inability to sleep well witch leads into the following day. It’s just not worth it if you can help it. I’ll take a pass today! I will get everything prepped Friday evening so Saturday morning at daybreak I can roll out there with intentions of being done by 11:00 at the latest. I have to wonder what the real hot months will be like this year.

This past weekend Mimi and I got in our time travel machine and headed back to the cooler months. We loaded one of our Garden Works landscape trucks with 6 thirty gallon arborvitae’s, 15 Drift roses, some Sunshine ligustrums, mushroom compost, giant bags of SunGro potting soil and some tools. We squeezed in a couple of beautiful blue pots and some zinnias with a dolly and headed north east to Greenville, South Carolina.

It was like heading back in time as far as the temperatures go. Where our daughter Mia lives they are still riding the upper 70’s wave with upper 50’s at night. We went out one night and were seated outside, I had to slip on some sleeves before the night was over, so nice! As we walked around that beautiful city we saw early spring stuff still happening, it felt as if we had traveled back to April 15th.

Mia surprised us one day with a phone call to tell us that she had just purchased her first house! We are so proud of her for reaching this milestone, she wasn’t going to spend another hard earned dollar paying rent and the house she chose would allow her to buy into the boomtown she calls home. She and Mimi exchanged photos and ideas about what to do with the yard and we were on our way to see it for the first time. It’s a nine hour slog to get there after getting through the Atlanta traffic it’s a smooth 2 hours Greenville. We went straight to the new house. She found a great place in an older neighborhood about ten minutes from Main Street where she works.

Someone is slowly buying up all the fixer uppers in the area to make room for all the people trying to wriggle their way into this area. They had done a great job with the updates inside the house and the outside looked great. They had sodded the yard with Zoysia and created some perfect sized beds for a landscape. We didn’t like the plants they stuck in there so the plants were out on their ears the next morning.

Our jolly landscape crew consisted of Mia and her boyfriend, Cody, Mimi and me. We moved her stuff out of her apartment to the house and then got started on the yard. The fence guys were still there finishing the fence in the back and front yard so we had to work around each other a little but we got along fine. They did a really nice job with the fence, looks great but more importantly Mias dog, Willow now has her own yard to do what dogs do.

We had some comfortable weather to work in and got most of the holes dug, soil mixed and plants parked and watered in by the time the sun was lowering. We were short on mulch so we had a run for that and some fertilizer that I forgot. We were pooped after that, we had to call it quits, find some dinner and crash. The next morning we got going early. We split off that day after we got all the heavy stuff moved around in the house together I headed back outside to finish what little we had left in the yard. Mia had purchased her first lawn mower and weed eater, I wanted to check them out and mow and trim the yard to get an idea of how long it would take.The equipment she chose was perfect, she bought commercial grade equipment that will last her a long time… maybe she secretly reads my musings or perhaps she was paying attention when she was growing up.

The fence guys finished up, I got finished in the yard and Mia and Mimi got finished in the house that day. We went out for a leisurely meal somewhere near the the Rabbit Trail that runs right through the middle of town with a river flowing parallel to it. The sound of the lazy river while dinning outside was just what the doctor ordered. We had a nice time and clinked our glasses in celebration for her great and bold achievement, a nice moment for us all.

We hung the remaining art the next morning and knew that Mia and Cody had something special in the works for us on our last day there. It was a surprise that was to take place at Cody’s house about 40 minutes out of town (at least for now as it looks like Greenville is headed that way). He has a great place with 5 acre yard that he had done some very impressive landscape projects in including a stone path leading to an Adirondack seating area around a fire pit. He and Mia have built a gorgeous chicken pen, a cute place for a pair of hysterical goats, a dog and a new kitten that had just showed up a few days before. The surprise was that we were going to butcher 3 of the chickens, out of 10 chickens they purchased 4 of them turned out to be roosters witch is 3 too many. Cody and I did the deed while Mia and Mimi got a big pot of water boiling. We dipped the still feathered dinners until the feathers came off easily.

They wound up looking just like the chickens you buy at the grocery store. We had potato wedges baking in the oven and we baked the 3 chickens on the other rack in the oven. The smells and spices blended nicely. We had a great salad harvested from their garden and wound up with a wonderful meal pioneer style. It was really fun and satisfying to know that we can do it if need be. I believe these two can do anything they put their minds to. When they aren’t working they are always up to something mind blowing like that. They are in heaven for the activities that they enjoy, running, mountain biking, paddling, gardening and raising wacky animals, I couldn’t be more proud of them for having such drive and making their lives so full of satisfaction.

The next morning was time to head back to mine and Mimis reality, we had a pleasant drive home recounting a great weekend and time to chat about anything but work stuff, it was really nice. When we arrived home that evening we could tell some heavy winds had blown and a lot of rain had fallen while we were gone. A few hours that evening clearing the yard of sticks and stones and broken bones helped ease our tense muscles from riding in the truck all day. We slept great that night knowing that we had a happy daughter that is on a wonderful path, independently, most importantly to us. I will post some pictures of the weekend projects, including the chicken party on our Garden Works website in case anyone wants to see some pretty cool befores and afters. Stay smart and safe while the heat dome sits on our heads.

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