Damn, it’s cold outside today. No sun. Strong wind. And a temperature that never made it past 32.5 degrees F, according to our outdoor thermometer. My technology-loving spouse long ago set up several thermometers that automagically send their data to a receiver inside the house. There’s one on the cold hill — the place where snow melts last every time. Another is tucked in a warmer spot near the back deck. The third outdoor thermometer resides inside the greenhouse, so that we can monitor the welfare of the tender cuttings, seedlings, and house plants that huddle inside. Spouse also set up an automatic rain gauge that measures and dumps precipitation as it falls, sending updates to a receiver on the mantle of our fireplace. I confess I enjoy the automagical nature of these devices.
Of course, on days like today when the numbers never climb, the devices only serve to reinforce the cold that creeps inside my knees, despite the long underwear covering them. Oh how I long for spring. The longing was made worse by recent mail deliveries. Today I received my tomato seed order. And yesterday, all the other vegetable, herb, and flower seeds I ordered arrived in a fat cardboard box that just fit inside our mailbox.
Now my fingers itch with the desire to fill flats with potting soil, sow tiny seeds that tax my aging eyes, and tuck them into the germination chamber in the greenhouse, with the warmth of the germination cable beneath it to gently coax seeds from slumber to seedling.
But it’s too soon for that ritual. Tomatoes planted now would be three or four feet tall before it would be time to transplant them into the garden. The greenhouse is only a little 8′ x 12′ structure that Wonder Spouse built from a kit some 16 years ago. Not enough room for premature planting, not with the threat of more ice and snow promised for next week.
So I must content myself with dreaming of future flowers, fresh herbs, tangy tomatoes, and warm summer sunshine. Meanwhile, here are some sunflowers from an earlier season to brighten your spirits — and mine.