From the Blog

Wanting to Settle

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In the past few weeks, I have come upon a sudden and urgent desire to plant a garden. I woke up one morning, dreaming of growing herbs and vegetables. The feeling came like lightning out of the blue, and has been nagging my brain. I imagine if I were religious, I’d take it as a sign. And I’d start planting gourds for the Unicorns, or something.

My one small problem with this divine mandate is that we live in an apartment tower in the middle of the city. And while we have a balcony, I really can’t imagine starting a garden in planters, and then have to haul them around with us for our next move. Because that’s just what I need. I need to haul 100 pound buckets of dirt, in addition to the 100 pound buckets of crap I usually carry around with me.

Never mind that we are moving in just TWO MONTHS, when our sublease is up. Gah. Does it seem like we just moved? It’s because we did. We did just move. We knew we were going to be taking this current apartment for just four months. So when you hear me bellyaching like this, it’s not because moving so soon has come as a surprise. It’s because we planned it this way. And bellyaching on the internet makes me feel better.

I’m a little tired of moving.

I believe that is where the sudden urge to garden is coming from. It’s springtime, so I’ve heard. It’s been raining in Portland for approximately 437 days. But the days are getting longer. The trees are blooming. Warmer weather should be coming any time now. Any time. Really now.

The idea of planting a garden, putting down roots, being stationary, all this appeals to me on a deeper level than just simply growing our own food. I love the idea of growing our own food, don’t get me wrong. Fussing over plants is perfect for my obsessive personality. Likewise, it’s agony for me to damage or kill a plant. So taking care of plants takes on huge importance, and becomes an epic task. Religious, even. All the more so because I have a kitty that will eat anything green (even fake plants), so it’s like loony toons trying to keep plants alive over here.

“Wanting to settle” sounds ominous, doesn’t it? But it’s an incomplete phrase. It can lead you where ever you want. “Settling for less” is bad. “Settling down” might seem bad too. But putting down roots, growing something, feeling settled, it sounds really nice to me right now.


  1. Come help me clean out my garden!

    I can pay in…um…home-canned apple-quince butter lovingly made by yours truly?

  2. I remember when that first happened to me. I was living in an apartment and I went to the lumber yard and bought myself some wood and a saw and some nails and a hammer and made some extremely crude window boxes to put pansies in. I have never looked back since.

  3. Wow Betsy, what an offer! I do love me some apple butter. Hard to say no!

  4. I love apple butter! I like to clean and organize! Want to bring your garden to Los Angeles?

  5. It will take some patience but get on the waiting list for some of the community gardens. I actually live right next door to one and got on the list the day I moved in…3.5 years still no plot…but I think they are opening up some new gardens and it gives you the ability to garden and have some dirt to dig in.

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