Lately my husband, Peter, has been sneaking out of the house, armed with a canvas bag and a pocket full of change. Wherever could he be going? I think I know.
When we moved from a large country home on 3/4 acre to our bungalow in the city Peter had to give up a few things, but the most serious was his large vegetable garden He left his zucchini runners, tomato vines, beans, cucumbers and blackberry plants all behind. Much as he wanted to give up the work of growing them, it almost broke his heart to walk away from his thriving green treasures. So I wasn’t surprised when, on our very first morning in our new home, Peter wanted to gulp down his coffee and go up the street to the shopping area in search of produce.
Well he did wait for me to change out of my pyjamas, and then we were off. We stopped for breakfast in the nearby bakery, and then we walked a little further along the main street. I noticed a high-end consignment store with some elegant outfits in the window. I turned to go in, but Peter was nowhere in sight. He had spotted something else:
He hurried over to the outside shelves and picked up some items. “Look at this!” he exclaimed. “Six tomatoes for only $1! A big bunch of bananas for just 50 cents!” The tomatoes had a few spots on them and the bananas were a little green, but Peter was in heaven. He filled his arms with beets, onions, apples; in fact all he could carry, and then he began handing me stuff as well. Then we went inside to pay the clerk. She smiled lovingly as Peter produced some bags from home and paid with exact change from his pocket. The perfect customer!
We struggled down the street with our produce, back towards our house. I teased him: “You know, people our age shouldn’t be buying green bananas.” But he didn’t even hear me. He was already running up the steps to the front door. He managed to get the key into the lock without dropping anything, and he rushed into the kitchen. Fortunately the fridge was a large model and it was still empty. But not for long. Soon the crispers, the meat drawer, even the butter compartment, were all full. The farmer was satisfied.
A few days later, after Peter had come home from a visit to the bank, I found green beans on the counter. Not just a small bag of beans, or a little basket; no! A whole lot of beans, maybe even hundreds, covered the counter. Peter was standing at the sink, looking sheepish. “I got all these for only $2. Can you believe it? I’ll clean them, honest!” he said. He got out all our pots, filled the sink with cold water, and began the long process of cleaning and blanching the beans, and putting them in the freezer.
I was wracked with guilt. Should I help him? If I helped him, would there be even more beans in my future? I quietly retreated to the living room to read. But I wasn’t really reading; I was thinking. How could it be that we had moved into the city and yet we had even more beans than in the country?
These days I am no longer surprised when I find our fridge filled with beets, zucchini, and more beans, and my breakfast cereal served with slightly green bananas. I just smile to myself, knowing that Peter has been sneaking off to visit his girlfriend at Sunnyland! again.
See you next Tuesday.
2 thoughts on “Growing Pains”
Good morning Sue…. I love it! You should write a book….see you this afternoon. >
Loving your blog Sue. It put a big smile on my face this morning. Especially since I’ve just been in the middle of getting the green beans started at our cottage garden! If you figure in the cost of my labour, I imagine it would cost a heck of a lot more for a load of beans that size!