Friday, July 12, 2013

The Tomato

Today, I am a happy woman.  Very happy.

Simple pleasures tickle me and today I just ate my favorite summer lunch:  a fresh tomato with cucumber slices.  Yum!

What's special about this tomato is that it's homegrown.  From my garden to my mouth in under five minutes, and that includes peeling and slicing the cucumber as well.  (A big thanks to Mr. Clif for sharing his homegrown cukes, by the way.)  I love, love, love fresh produce and this is as fresh as it gets. 

It's a minor miracle that I have a tomato to harvest.  First, I live in deep woods and little sunshine filters through.  Second, we have a large deer population that is defoliating plants down to the stems right now.  But not my tomatoes.    

This spring our friends Jack and Shirley were visiting from the East Coast.  Shirl and I like to get the guys involved in a project so that we can converse in peace.  This trip, she conceived window boxes that would sit on the ledge of our driveway instead of below a window.  The guys got right to work.  By the time the weekend was over, I had had fun talking with my friend PLUS had three lovely flower boxes AND the guys got to feel productive.  Win, win, win as I see it.

The driveway boxes were perfect!  I chose to paint them purple (and by "paint them purple" I mean I chose to have Jerry paint them purple.)  Jerry baulked. He said the color I picked was "garish."  Garish means obtrusively bright and showy; lurid.  It's synonyms are: gaudy, showy, loud, glaring, flashy.  Lurid means ghastly.  I know; I looked it up.  Clearly Jerry wasn't complimenting my taste.  Undaunted by this negativity, I persisted.  Unbeknownst to him, I had already watered down my color choice at the paint counter and I was adamant.     

"When Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."  Jerry understands this folk wisdom at a gut level.  We have, after all, been married for decades so he's had plenty of first-hand experience in picking his battles.  Wisely, he relented and painted the boxes.  

In the center of every box of flowers I planted a tomato.  Imagine my surprise when they actually flowered?  I was beside myself with joy when fruit appeared and giddy with delight when I beheld the first streaks of pink!  I almost picked all the tomatoes at this stage as a strategic move to foil the deer, so certain was I that they would share my sentiments and chomp down all ten tomatoes before I could even taste one.  

Pictures lie.  The flower boxes are not really this garish color.

Apparently deer either don't like tomatoes or they, too, think the planters are garish because they've left them totally alone while at the same time demolishing the bulk of my peach crop which was growing mere feet away.  (They left two tiny peaches.  Why?  Is there something wrong with them or were the deer being polite?  Who answers these types of questions?)

Lunch was everything I imagined.  You just can't duplicate the taste of a freshly picked tomato, warm and juicy.

Today I am a very happy woman, indeed.  Oh, and Jerry says the color is "growing on him."

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P.S.  If you happen to have seen the boxes and actually liked the color, you are encouraged to post a comment.  Hint, hint.


Jack said...

These things should be featured in S. Carolina's tourist brochures. To See them is life changing . . . and the retinal after-image persists for days!

ebard3 said...

I like the color! It doesn't look purple at all! It looks blue to me!

Nastase Nutiness said...

Purple is my favorite color, so you know I love the boxes!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you have stumbled upon a deterrent for hungry deer. A new meaning for "the color purple".

I love the color. We had to tear up carpeting in the last house we rented because our new puppy piddled on it one too many times. We did not want to put the new carpet down until we were ready to move out. Underneath was just ordinary floorboards. I painted them a similar color, just not as deeply hued.

Who cared? It was going to be carpeted over when we moved out. It was fun while it lasted :)