Naming the Garlic…The Untold story

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Readers,

It’s time to tell you about the day we named the garlic sprouts.
It was…an adventure!

Now, rather than dump The Great American Novel on you in one long, drawn-out sitting,  I’m going to do it in parts.  Frustrating?  Naaaahhhh.  Think…cliff hanger…old time radio, where they did the stories in weekly installments. When I was a kid, the newspapers did holiday stories in the weeks before holidays such as Easter, Christmas, even Halloween.   Every Wednesday (I think) there was another installment, with illustrations and everything, and we could not wait to get through the week to the new chapter!  It was just too cool.  I hope that I can give you a touch of that feeling here, and share with you a tiny slice of that wonderful, childish anticipation.  They were simpler times, and infinitely more gratifying for having had to wait a bit.   For me, gardening and needlework are like that.  They’re simple pleasures, filled with the child-like anticipation of the first leaf, the first bud of what will some day be a tomato, or a broccoli plant, or a glorious Dahlia.  In crochet,  (or embroidery, knit, whatever the muse suggests) that first stitch…what will it be?  Some day it will be a scarf, or a sweater, or…a child’s toy. To watch things grow, to help them along, from tiny seed to stunning eggplant, from a scrap of colorful yarn to a smiling giver of a child’s joy humbles me. It entertains me, makes me smile, and brings me peace.  I’d like to share that with you.

Shortly after Tiny, our first garlic sprout, broke ground, Little Sprite said, “We should all name the garlics when they come up!”

Well, come up, they did.  I planted eighteen cloves, and eighteen sprouted. Before the broccoli went into the long night, and before Scribbles went to live with her child, we got together out there on the porch. I, with Popsicle stick markers and a Sharpie, and Scribbles, Reggie, Drake and Bud with their imaginations, had a grand old time naming those sprouts. 

My broccoli buddies and our visiting sweet heart, Scribbles, have since left here, but I’ll remember this day.

Here’s how it went….

“Good morning, Green Guys!” I chirped out as I went to the porch with a load of wash. “How are you all doing this morning?”

Sprite, always the first to chip in, answered, “Oh, we’re good! The sun is sending us a lot of warm today, and I sense you’re about to make the summer machine work!”

“Yes, Sprite, I am. It’s going to get nice and summery in here, soon.”

“Is Scribbles coming to visit today?” Bud asked, rather shyly.  Was that an underlying crush I was hearing?  Not one to unduly embarrass plant life, I skipped that thought.

“You bet! I’ll bring her out to visit. She can hang with your guys today.”

Drake was not so shy. He asked, “Is she a plant? She seems…different.”

“Not like we have all that much experience,” Bud added, “but I think Drake is right. She seems different.”

“I don’t think she’s a plant, Guys,”  Reggie answered.  “I think Wendy made her from some strange vine. Something like a really long stem. Hemp?”

“Hmmm…,” Bud interjected. “If Wendy made her from Hemp…then she is a plant? Sort of?”

“Maybe she’s a dried plant,” Drake offered.

“But she’s…soft,” Bud answered. Oh, yeah. Definitely a crush.

“If she’s a plant, why isn’t she in a pot?” Asked my Little Sprite.

“You’re right, Sprite, My Man,” Reggie praised. “If she were a plant, she would have to be rooted, in pots, like us, or in the ground, Outside.  Otherwise, she’d be a cut flower, and they don’t last this long.”

“I don’t think she’s a plant,” Bud decided. “She’s soft and warm, and talks to us, so she can’t be dried or cut, and she isn’t rooted, like we are.”

Well. I have to tell you, the byplay between these plants was nothing short of astounding. Such imaginations! Such knowledge! From plants! I just stood there, mutely pondering the philosophical and biological points they were taking, until it hit me…they weren’t talking any longer. Snapped out of my reverie, I looked to the plants, who were politely waiting for an answer.

“Well, Wendy?” Reggie asked, breaking the ice. “Is our Scribbles a plant?”

I shook my head, remembering too late that these guys can’t see that, only sense it.

“No, Guys. Reggie is correct. I made Scribbles. I put her together with yarn. Not Hemp yarn, but a man-made yarn.”

“So….” Drake asked, “she didn’t…grow?”

“I think she did grow, ” Bud decided. “She has a soul. I can sense it. She started from something, and grew into something bigger, something…more.”

“Bravo, Bud,” I exclaimed. “That is exactly how we got our Scribbles. I started with yarn, and a tool, and she grew, from that beginning scrap of yarn and some fluffy filling, to the friend that we know now.  It was while I was crocheting her that she developed a soul, and a personality.  She grew, just like you guys did, but she started and grew differently.”

“But she isn’t a plant,” Bud said, in more of a statement than a question.

“No, not a plant. She’s a…”

“Friend!” Sprite proclaimed. Leave it to Sprite to cut to the chase, and chase away the doubts.

“Yeah!” Reggie joined in. “It doesn’t matter if she’s a plant or a yarn, or a rock. She’s just Scribbles, our friend.”

“Why don’t I go get her now,” I offered. “I seem to remember discussing giving names to all of these strange little garlic guys after they all sprouted, and now seems like a great time to do that…if you’re all up to it?”

There is nothing in the world quite like excited broccoli. They cheered, they swayed, that laughed, and they all agreed that they would very much like to see their friend, Scribbles, and set themselves to the task of naming seventeen more garlic sprouts.

Stay tuned!  In the meantime, you can click on my little broccoli buddies here, print them out, and color them in. Keep in mind, this is your broccoli. There’s no one around to tell you they have to be green!

Run with crayons….

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