Archive for June, 2012

The Single Senior Gardens, Her Way

June 22, 2012

The Single Senior Gardens, Her Way

My neighbor Donna is quite the gardener. She loves to get her hands in the dirt. Everything she plants grows ecstatically. Those measly plants from the ninety-nine cent store become gorgeous roses, multiplying chrysanthemums and six foot-tall shrubs. When she is a little down, she goes to the plant store and buys some happiness. I have had limited success with gardens.

My father, although born and bred in New York City, took to gardening when we moved to suburban New Jersey. He planted corn, asparagus, and cucumbers, but his pride was with his tomatoes.

My biggest triumph was when I worked at a school and the science teacher gave me some seeds for Mediterranean squash. I planted them at the edge of the concrete in the postage-sized patio of my townhouse. The vines grew so well they went over the six foot wooden fence. They grew even more and I twined them back into onto the concrete. The squash were green monsters, almost as big as watermelons. There were so many that I couldn’t give enough away, taking them to school and leaving bags of squash in the teachers’ lounge. My friend Carol, also known as the western Martha Stewart, helped me make pickles and zucchini bread to save my crop from waste.

When my daughter Emily was about five, we planted a winter garden:  lettuce, radishes, etc. We had less than a bumper crop.

Since then I haven’t done much gardening. I buy plants in pots and try to keep them alive. I forget to water them, a sin in the desert, whether it’s summer or winter. I’ve been more successful at remembering to water when I bring the plants to my mountain cabin. Two years ago, when the Black- Eyed Susans blooming on the roadside, I waited for a good rain and pulled some up by the roots. I transplanted them by my driveway, and most survived. I figured they were weeds, and they would come up every year. Last year, when the Black- Eyed Susans bloomed, they were in my neighbor’s yard. I tried again. Who knows which way the wind was blowing last fall.

Another Scottsdale neighbor bought a place in Munds Park. She discovered a gorgeous nursery, Warner’s, in Flagstaff. When I went there I was enchanted. Literally. I picked out sixty dollars of flowers and herbs. I decided to plant them in the ground. I knew the soil by the driveway had supported the Black- Eyed Susans, so I decided to plant there. I rooted around in my storage shed and found work gloves from the dollar store and a three-pronged clawed tool I figured could substitute for a shovel.

The next morning I soaked the ground to make it easier to dig. I didn’t like kneeling in the dirt. My sweat pants got encrusted with mud. Didn’t I used to love to squish my toes in the mud when I was a kid? Guess I’ve outgrown that.

The digging was hard work. I liked it when I saw a worm. I knew that worms irrigate the soil for flowers. It only took about an hour to do the planting. I was anxious to finish, so some of the soil from the pots were two or three inches above the ground.

I have to soak those suckers every day! It hasn’t rained here in more than a month and the humidity level is in the single digits. The flowers were in shock for a week. The parsley looked dead. One of the plants has leaves that haven’t left the ground yet. I want the end result. I don’t enjoy the process, except picking out the plants.

Finally, this week, some of the flowers bloomed. And the middle of the parsley stood up. The plants don’t seem to have grown at all, but they’re not dead. I hope there’s room for the Black- Eyed Susans if they decide to sprout this year.




The Railroad Man Stops at My Station, Again

June 19, 2012

The Railroad Man Stops at my Station, Again

Railroad Man in Sedona last summer

Last summer I met The Railroad Man through the dating site Plenty of Fish. I call him that because he’s an engineer who drives freight trains between Winslow and Needles.

There are a lot of things I like about him:

  • He loves to listen to live music and dance.
  • He thinks dancing with my single friends is a hoot, not a burden.
  • His children and grandchildren are his priority.
  • He likes to go and do. He’s willing to plan activities
  • I like his looks and body type.
  • He’s a liberal union guy.
  • He has an optimistic outlook on life.


So why did we stop seeing each other last summer? I thought it was because he didn’t answer my texts and calls. He said I stopped returning his calls. I don’t know. The jury is out.

On our first date this year he took me to his daughter’s thirtieth birthday party at Granny’s Closet so I met two of his kids and three grandchildren. This sent the message to me that he wanted to continue our relationship.

For our next date I agreed to go out for East Indian food. You know I like this guy if I was willing to do this. I hadn’t eaten Indian food in quite a while because I don’t like curry or saffron. We had chicken Tandoori , garlic bread on a cross between a tortilla and a pita, and a bowl of pureed spinach with squares of homemade cheese. I was a little put off by the bright red color of the chicken. The spinach dish was tasty, but not appetizing to look at.

Yesterday he came over to my house in between a service for a sick friend in Sedona and taking a nap before he drove the train at 11 p.m.

An interesting aspect of the relationship with him is his work schedule. It’s always mutating and it’s impossible to plan anything ahead of time unless he takes vacation days. He goes to Needles, stays overnight, and then comes back a day or two later. This gives me the freedom to live my life as I please, but it can be frustrating. Can’t have everything.



Cabin Company

June 4, 2012

Cabin Company

            I’ve welcomed company to my cabin. Memorial Day weekend a friend and fellow basketball fiend visited. We watched great play-off games, sat on the porch and drank our tea and coffee, and took the dogs for long walks. She didn’t get any no-see-em bites, only me. We never got around to any of the events or music that was offered. We ate a meal at Pinewoody’s and dinner at the Country Club. We had the leftovers for our next measl. I taught her how to bake artichokes and dog bones, and make sweet potato soup. She took samples home with her.

This past weekend, another friend made the trip up the mountain. She has various health problems so we just relaxed, my specialty at Munds Park.  Her dog likes to takes walks with me. In fact most people’s dogs love me. Single men, not so much.

She’s been single a while and is now ready to date. I helped her write her profile and edit her picture for Plenty of Fish, a free dating service. Her first communication was from a thirty-five year old woman. I advised her to respond she wasn’t interested in dating woman. The person emailed back that someone had hacked into his profile and he wanted her to contact him via personal email. I advised her not to do this. If he was legit, he would get in touch with her through the website. Otherwise she was giving him her personal email, a definite no-no.The second person to communicate sent a nice message, but when we looked up his profile, he mentioned God in every sentence. My friend is religious, but that was over the top. She emailed him back thanking him for his interest but saying they were not a match.

Her last night her we ate a New Jersey Pizza in Flagstaff. It deserves all the rave reviews I’ve read.  My friend declared it the best pizza she’s ever eaten!

I was sad to see her go. My company was easy. They made their own coffee, picked up and cleaned up after themselves, and they don’t expect me to entertain them.I hope all my company this summer is as easy.