It's pretty funny how the definition of a "lovely day" changes as winter slithers in.
The days that used to be too wet, too cold and too gray to throw rocks are now deemed "lovely." If ice pellets aren't pelting our faces with 30 mph winds, it's a lovely day.
This week I realized that I hadn't checked on my plot in the community garden for a while (story of my summer). The gardens at the campground took more of my attention than my little 12' x 24' plot just a block away. I can't say it suffered, but it sure got out of control. Sorry, garden neighbors!
So I pulled little Brady P. in his wagon to the community garden. All bundled up, I set him down at the north end of the site -- something I dared not do at the beginning of the season, unless he was helping me pick rocks.
But as I looked at Diane's notoriously pristine plot next to mine, I noticed it had been pulled. Not much remained except perhaps a bushel's worth of red, green and brown tomatoes that most likely fell from the vines before or during their removal.
Braeden noticed those tomatoes right away.
The frost had already hit them, so they had an extra fragility to their nature. And as Braeden found out, they made a really cool sound when he squashed them with his boots.
I wished I had a video camera.
There was Brady P., puffy as a winter marshmallow, stomping the tomatoes and listening to the squirting, squishing sounds they made. Then he looked over at me and let out this half-crazed cackle with one eye twitching and pointy teeth bared.
What a sight!
Stomp, squish, squirt. Stomp, squish, squirt. Cackle!
Then he would pick up the green tomatoes which didn't melt instantly in his mittened hand and chucked them. He followed the successful throws with the aforementioned cackle. What a goon.
After enough of that, he wandered over to my plot -- a gnarly patch of hardened stems, weeds and an unfortunate cauliflower plant.
This cauliflower plant proved to be his nemesis, as he kept walking right into it and promptly tumbling over. I couldn't figure out why he couldn't see it. It was as tall as his waist and as sturdy as a small tree.
But time and time again, I watch him roll right over it, let out a disapproving squawk, and get back up. I just laughed at my little marshmallow boy.
I am always grateful for time in the garden that isn't hastened by the whine of my small fry. Luckily, that day he was in his ketchup-making glory.