So, one time, when I was a teenager, Mom took us on one of our epic shopping adventures in the Valley. (That's Valley of the Sun, Phoenix Metropolitan Area for those of you not up on the Arizona lingo.) I didn't know it then, but I learned as an adult that those week-long shopping trips where we'd throw down bags in a hotel, then shop, eat and watch movies all through the Valley were actually Mom's lifeline while we were living our rustic little life in Pottsville.
You know, the one where we listened to a battery-operated radio, by the light of the Coleman lantern, while reading books or playing Backgammon, gathered around our dining room table, with the rest of the house in darkness, out in the desert, miles from a town, with only two other homes nearby? Belonging to Grandma & Grandpa Potts, and my Aunt Barbara?
Yes, well, apparently the shopping trips offset the hard work of cutting wood, building fires, hauling water from Grandma's occasionally, leaving a warm bed to run outside and start the generator in the morning.... In short, those trips are probably the reason Mom is still with us today.
For us girls, those trips meant shopping, dining out, swimming pools and movies...yes. But, they also meant TV, which we didn't get much of in Pottsville. We'd watch one hour a week of TV while Mom had the generator on to iron Dad's work shirts. And his jeans. Yes, he was THAT guy...the one with pressed jeans. We got exactly one channel on our TV in the boonies, and usually when Mom was ironing our program choice was Little House on the Prairie or Little House on the Prairie.
Which brings me to the purpose of this post.
On one of our shopping trips, I couldn't sleep. No matter what I did one night, I could not sleep. So, I settled in for a night of watching TV. It seemed a wonderful idea except for the fact that in this motel we were picking up very few channels for some reason, and one of them I flipped to had some stuff going on that I couldn't make heads or tails of, all I know is it made my stomach feel funny and I was glimpsing body parts I'd never seen before ...and the noises...Wow. I flipped away from the channel fast and didn't deviate from the remaining channel that was safe and not confusing and weird.
Only that channel, come about 1 a.m. played the same commercial over and over and over again. "What time is it?!?" shouts the announcer. "It's CARPET TIME!!!" shouted the happy crowd. Incessantly. Ad nauseum. Till I thought I would pull out my fingernails. Oh, how I longed for sleep. Alas, sleep did not come. Reruns of Starsky and Hutch, the Rockford Files and Barney Miller were interspersed among the stupid, happy carpet people that long, long night.
It's stayed with me lo these many years.
And do you know why I'm telling you this? Why I took ALL that time and all those words to tell you about it?
It's because around this time of year, every year I think, "What time is it? It's TIME TO PLANT THE GARLIC!!"
And, just as those stupid commercials didn't motivate me to go out and buy carpet, neither does repeating that silly mantra ever motivate me to get out and stick some darned cloves in the ground and get me some garlic overwintering.
And, every spring, I lament that I didn't get the garlic in in the fall.
Here's hoping this year is the year.
I'd really like to have fresh garlic next year.
And that's really all I had to say.
You can thank me later for getting that dang commercial stuck in your head. If that one isn't enough, let's throw in "It's time to make the donuts...." with images of that tired, balding baker for kicks. Remember that one? Is it playing over and over in your head now? Is it all rushing back?
Good. Sleep on that.
Love from the farm,