Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dia de los Muertos-Post 1 for 30dow

Tulip bulbs look a little bit like dirty onions. Or maybe beets. Dirty beets. Every year, my Mamaw dug up her tulip bulbs and put them in a pile of dirt in her gardening shed. In the fall, before the air got too cold, she'd replant the bulbs for a spring bloom. Because I was the oldest grandchild within a 200-mile radius, I would help. We'd dig through the cool dirt for the bulbs, separate them from the dirtpile, and put them in the wheelbarrow to wheel down the hill. 

Mamaw grew up on a farm in Arkansas and could make things grow. Now I wish I could ask her things, like why my ivy is so sparse or how to get rid of ants in house plants. Even then, as I planted bulbs with her, I tried to plant them upside down. I was never a natural, never had a green thumb, but she tried to teach me. She told me the names of flowers, told me what I could eat in her yard, showed me how to plant tulip bulbs in the fall and how to wait for them to bloom in the spring. 

I still dream about the gardening shed. It was really a large wooden carport, though I don't remember any cars ever being parked there. Locusts would leave their shells on the wooden walls, clinging to the splinters. My cousins and I would thread string through their dead outlines and wear them as necklaces. I dream now of the locust necklaces, of the dark hidden storage room near the garage, and of parking my own car in front of the carport to go inside and visit my Mamaw.

1 comment:

tipsy texter said...

i really loved the imagery in this one; i can just imagine your tulips coming up all deformed because you planted them upside down, and the locusts? awesome.