Spring has sprung, and I am realizing my gardening goals one day at a time. Last year, I bought new raised beds and then just stared at the boxed parts leaning against the wall of my garage and… nothing. I did nothing. The effort required to make a garden area seemed insurmountable, and we would need to get new dirt and my little greenhouse needed a new cover. All year, my barren yard mocked me, but with our four months of OMG FIRE SEASON, maybe it was for the best that I didn’t try last year.

I woke up in January determined to get a garden going this year. I also bought some house plants, but that’s a story for another time. Someone needs to create a new chart, like the gifts for anniversary years, but for Pandemic Living. Year one – sourdough and sewing masks. Year two – house plants.

So, I created some quirky, imperfect garden areas, fenced off from the dogs. I got a pallet of dirt-bags, and replaced my greenhouse cover, and started seeds. Standing in the yard, giant hat on my head, smears of dirt on my clothes and the sun on my shoulders, I felt a little green growth in my core. My unused muscles ached pleasantly from the work. I looked around and felt a hopeful anticipation and sense of accomplishment that I haven’t felt in a year.

After two months of clumsy nurturing, including planting seedlings too early and having to start over and accidentally planting 10,000 carrots per inch, plus a memorable morning where the dogs got inside the garden fence and performed an aquatic ballet-style routine in my carrot and radish beds with zero thoughts for MY feelings about it, things are growing. I’m harvesting lettuce and eating strawberries right off the vine, and I’m dutifully burying my potato plant leaves after every growth spurt. My radishes and carrots weren’t completely destroyed in The Doggening, but they’ve been redistributed weirdly. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m having fun.

I am having fun. Let me say that again. It has been a year of (mostly) no fun, and suddenly, FUN. Because of lettuce. Who am I?