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Monday, 23 August 2010

The Widower and The Worm Farm

By Ralph Lymburner

When last heard from, the widower had survived internet dating and after a few visits to the Halifax Humane Society, acquired two cats and a very special girlfriend.

Now fast forward one year to the present. He still has the two cats who now rule his domain even though one of them escaped several times but always returned for dinner.

The very special girl friend is still very special. We are both in our middle 70s and feel that time’s wasting. Our future status is still under discussion and negotiation.

One swaying factor in these negotiations is the fact that we are involved with a very loosely-formed social group which gathers weekly for dancing. It appears that of the nine couples, one is married and the other eight are cohabitating. A very strange group.

The very special girl friend (AKA vsgf) has spent a year in indoctrinating (read: training) me into some strange ways. Fortunately, they are all good for me, so she says. One biggie is NO SALT. Try that after using it for 70-some years.

At the first meal she prepared, I asked for the salt and she handed me a bottle of dirt that had a label for a Mrs. DASH. I am now on an intimate terms with Mrs. DASH and her herbs.

We were introduced to spaghetti squash by a clerk at Walmart of all places and vsgf became so enraptured with this vegetable that she took the seeds and planted them in her yard quite successfully. There’s no end to spaghetti squash on our menu.

Vsgf has the greenest thumb of any person alive. So now routine, boring spaghetti squash isn’t good enough. It’s back to Google to look for exotic forms of this squash. She found a mail order site for exotic squash seeds and received seeds for several varieties such as Stripetti and Georgia Corn Roaster. These are guaranteed to germinate and are coated with something labeled “Poisonous To Eat.”

The Georgia Corn Roaster can yield 60 pounds of squash. I’m not sure who is supposed to lift this. I looked at vsgf and stated in a firm voice, “Not me.” She just smiled as I took a stand and stated this could end a beautiful relationship. The smile increased as she nodded.

Vsgf is planting these in giant clay pots so they would spill over her entire back yard. After consulting an expert at the nursery, she decided the soil would be enhanced with worm casting and wanted to start a worm farm. I thought I didn’t hear them correctly, so I asked again what we needed and he again responded a worm farm.

Now let’s get serious here. Worm farming is also known as vermicomposting. I had never heard of anything as ridiculous as this. I decided to let Google be the ultimate authority. On Google there are 212,000 hits. There are all different authorities on building a worm farm. The whole farm can even be in one’s laundry, yuck.

Do you see it coming yet? Hip boots, rubber gloves, sweat band. Making mud ponds and mixing it with the proper ingredients in order to get a compost pile for these little, slimy things. So once more I pull myself up to my full 6’1”, put on my sternest face and announce to the world, “I will not grow or dig worms!!” I felt that this is one area I WILL command.

As I huffed and I puffed my best indignant look, vsgf’s 12-year-old granddaughter walked over to me and whispered in my ear, “Ralph, just go to the bait shop and buy them.”

Out of the mouth’s of babes!!!

Results of squash farming/worm-growing relationship will be posted next spring.


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:35 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

Funny.
But, oh my, at least you're not bored,or lonely, certainly not after next spring's harvest.
Next you will have to come up with names...

Oh the things we do for love. I would call a halt at making a worm farm though; especially in the bathroom.

I know worms keep the soil aerated and that is good, but no thanks.
Frankly, I would not go buy them. I would buy the spaghetti squash. ;-)

A delightful read. Thanks for my first morning chuckle.

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