There’s something about watching a healthy young guy do sweaty, muscle-taxing “man’s work.”
After he’d chopped up three designated planting areas for me. The Wandering Monk and I talked a while. We unfortunately agreed that much of the upcoming crop of young men — with their declining testosterone, estrogen-mimicking soy-and-plastic diets, and cultural castration — will be incapable of doing this sort of work. And that will be a loss both to them and to the women of their generation. To society, as well.
Of course, my generation wasn’t fond of sweaty manual labor, either, and as a young woman I preferred the wan, intellectual-artsy type to impressive ditch diggers. But the men of “my” day were (and judging by the hearty men of a certain age hereabouts, still are) capable.
I worry about the future — and am glad it’s not really my worry at all. Anyhow, the human race is awesomely adaptable.
Today I got about half the fall bulbs planted. I confess I pretty quickly began ignoring the various “plant 6″ deep and 10″ apart … no make this one 4″ deep and 3″ apart” business. I resorted to guessing, setting everything shallowly, then heaping loose dirt or lightly broken clods over the bulbs that needed to be planted deeper.
I reasoned that this is the Pacific Northwest. Everything grows here. It’s a freakin’ rain forest, isn’t it? And these are bulbs. It takes more than my black thumb to kill bulbs. So I winged it and will see what emerges next spring.
“I’m not a gardener,” I kept reminding myself. “I hate doing this. There are spiders out here. Worms. Beetles. And dirt!” I cursed Neighbor J for dragging me into this project. Even with the pre-broken soil so kindly engineered by the Monk, the ground was thick with matted grass roots and difficult to work in places.
Then after I saw how far I’d gotten, I emailed Furrydoc to ask if an offer she made a few months ago of bulbs from her garden was still open.
Besides, it was a beautiful day — better than many days of summer. And more is to come.