Slugs in June.

“I’ll make you a deal,” I plead, cheerful optimism forced upon each syllable. “You go to sleep and stay asleep before the sun sets so I can have some garden time, and I’ll give you three extra kisses.”

It’s dim, but not dark. Just before eight o’clock. I rush outside. I want to dig the rest of the garlic before it rots where it’s buried. I see an ant sipping the wine of the Mexican Oregano.


The fading light leaves a squash blossom alit.


I check on the carrots, long shaded by last year’s hidden sweet potatoes.


And the leek’s getaway is complete.


I hear the backdoor creak open. My heart sinks.

“He’s asking for you. Do you want me to bring him down or do you want to go back up?”

I go back up. The irrational emotions flare with each step. I take a deep breath, lower my shoulders, and swallow them down until I’ve softened.

It’s nearly nine o’clock. I haven’t finished my dinner. I nearly sprint out the door, snatch up my trowel, and make a bee line for the garlic. Surrounded by liquefied chard leaves the garlic is doing its best to thwart the hunger that crawls around it, along it, but hopefully not through it.

I send the blade deep into the soil and pry. Each root gives one by one and at once. The soil clings heavy. The roots ching greedily. Tap, tap, tap – some falls. I drape the shoot over the edge of the bed and move on. Another. Slice. Pry. Tap.Tap.Tap. Drape. Again.

The pill bugs scatter. The slugs hold tight. An earthworm seemingly launches from the earth and frantically races toward blind freedom. I watch it a moment. Dropping soil gently down its length, I bury it.

It’s dark now. Ration has yet to return. Dinner is three hours cold. I’m depleted. Unable to find enjoyment in the moments of daylight spent outdoors, alone, I step past the dinner bowl discarded to feed others, tend to others, love on others.

An apple, a knife, and a jar of peanut butter usually does the trick. Here’s hoping.


8 comments on “Slugs in June.

  1. Shannon says:

    Your perspective is still fresh in my memory, though that time was 10 years ago for me. Now, I still have little ‘me’ time outside save the necessary riding of the tractor mower through the summer. Earth to the elbows is my preferred habitat to the van or computer desk. You’ll get your warm dinner one day…

  2. Tina says:

    Yes, I remember that ‘needing alone’ time. The time with children, especially little ones, is fleeting. But it’s hard to remember and reconcile that at times. My little one will be flying to the other side of the world in a few days. Cold sweats are the norm. As is alone time. 🙂

    • plumdirt says:

      For a trip or a move? Sometimes it seems silly how hard it is to enjoy something when it’s in the extreme. I’m sure I will miss wriggling loud demands crawling all over me someday when I have plenty of alone time.

      • Tina says:

        He’s studying abroad in Amman, Jordan. Yeah. So, with my fretting and worrying, I’ll either not eat all summer and be as skinny as a rail or eat constantly and not be able to get through the door. I’ll let you know. 🙂 One must keep a good sense of humor once kids come into your life.

      • plumdirt says:

        Maybe take turns on those plans. Eat constantly for an hour and then not for a few 😉 I tend toward keeping myself busy to the point of distraction, and thus forgetting to eat. But what memories and experience he’s gaining!

  3. Karen says:

    Oh the trials and tribulations of being a mother. 🙂 We are needed in so many places and seldom have enough time for ourselves. You writing always gives me a smile as I feel I’m there with you…sharing those brief moments.

    • plumdirt says:

      I’m finding that the trick is to truly soak up the sunshine and call upon it in the darkness. Remembering the baby grin when the fussing seems never ending.

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