My Sunflowers! Whaaaa!!!

About two months ago, when there was still snow on the ground, I lovingly set out my pots and my dirt and my seeds. Max helped me gently lay each tiny seed in each pot, and gently cover it with soil. We bought a special spray bottle so we could mist them gently, each day, giving them their nurishment. Once the seedlings emerged from the soil, reaching for the grow light Matt and Frank installed for me in the mudroom, Max and I fed them organic fertilizer. And, they grew. Oh how they grew! Each day, they were taller and more proud. Some reached for the grow light while others reached for the winter sunlight streaming through the window.

As the days got warmer, I checked with the weatherman. No, April was too soon, way too soon. Mid-May brought us one 90-degree day. But it was still too soon as we had frost just a few nights later. We moved the seedlings outside, and back in repeatedly over several days, so they could adjust to real sunlight and the wind.

Finally, just after Memorial Day, the weatherman said it was safe. Max and I carried our babies outside. We weeded the garden, spread compost and manure, and just the right spot for every seedling. Carrots, green beans, sugar snap peas, leeks, and more were laid in their new home and gently watered. The sunflowers, Max’s favorite, got a special spot. They were planted right by the fence where they could grow tall and strong. They were already quite large and they looked so happy, waving in the breeze, overlooking the river.

The next morning, we went out to check on our babies. The tomato plants were standing straight in their perfect little rows. The radishes were bushy and strong. The corn was standing upright, reaching for the morning light. And, the sunflowers…our beautiful sunflowers, were just straight green stalks! No leaves…no nothing!! Just a dozen green sticks poking up into the sky! Aaaack!! What happened?!

Max was okay. He said he’d just put some more sunflower seeds outside. However, I was NOT okay. Hadn’t the boys been playing baseball outside just last night? Hmmm… How could they clean off entire sunflower stems without breaking the stems? A stiff wind? Nah.. What could it be?

That night, Richard and Max sat outside on the deck after dinner. I was inside working while Mason was taking his evening nap on my lap. After a few minutes, Max came running inside, excited and breathless.

“Mom!!” he panted. “Guess what?! We just saw a groundhog!!!”

Well, the mystery is solved. And, I’m wondering which of my little seedling babies will be next. I hope groundhogs don’t like sugar snap peas because those are my favorite. And, now I’m wondering if perhaps my grape vines really did produce last year…but the groundhog beat me to them. I’m not the type to set out traps, of course. Share and share alike. That’s my motto. I just hope Mr. Groundhog is willing to share, too.

Two Maxisms this week!

I was wrapping up a package for my mom with Max’s help. After I got the box taped up, he said, “Mommy, I’m glad your mom’s not dead…”


We bought Max a new kiddie pool for the backyard, as we do each year. He was so excited, jumping around the kitchen and insisting we save the box so he could gaze at the photo of the swimming children for hours on end. After a few minutes, he said, “Hey, Mom, you forgot Maureen!”

I said, “What? Who’s Maureen?”

He replied, “The stuff that kills the germs in the water!”

Hugs to all!


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