after a few days of drops for my eye infections, sprays for my nose, and allergy pills for the general misery of everything else, i am somewhat recovered and able to get back to running and do some work outside. it is a bit of a bitter pill to swallow (haha) that i have always regarded the outdoors as a healthy place to be, feeling virtuous whenever i get my vitamin D or go for a run or a long walk, and to be brought to my knees, figuratively, by doing something healthy seems simply unfair.


my tomatoes have been such a disappointment over the past couple of years that i decided to get serious and go straight to a local greenhouse that grows and sells heirloom tomato varieties that are specifically chosen for michigan’s climate. michigan heirlooms has an awesome website with a listing of all the plants they sell, great descriptions and pictures, so i picked cherokee purple and paul robeson. my original bestie k. ordered some varieties too, so yesterday i packed miss l. up in the car and we drove out to fetch all of them.

i’d just showered after a run, my hair was pinned up, i filled up my water bottle, and miss l. was grumbling a bit about having to leave her swingset. i thought it was a quick drive but my nav kept taking me deeper on country lanes. after informing me “THIS IS WHY I DIDN’T WANT TO GO TO THE TOMATO FARM”, miss l. fell asleep in the back and the sky was jewel blue and the roadsides were full of tall slim trees and marshy bits where ducks and their babies swam and turtles sunned themselves. i was somewhat annoyed at having to be in the car for so long on a lovely day, and remembered that when i was little, driving was entertainment for our family. my mom and dad would load us up into the old brown buick and we would find country roads to drive down and look for bunnies. then my imagination took a darker turn and i started thinking about a stephen king story about a woman and her child taking their Ford Pinto to an old country repair station far from civilization and being trapped in the driveway in their baking, broken-down car by a rabid St. Bernard. luckily, i thought, i have a very reliable vehicle and a working cell phone and just an extremely overactive imagination. even after a year of taking aggressive steps to manage my various anxieties and worryability, i still have moments where i have to shut myself down, even over ridiculous things like a nice drive on a country lane on a sunny day.

and when we got to michigan heirlooms, of course there weren’t any rabid St. Bernards, just friendly chickens.


and a really lovely little cottage industry greenhouse run by an extremely helpful and good-natured family who, when they found a problem with my second paul robeson, gave me a jd’s special c-tex plant to substitute. which i was assured would be a superior tomato.