Sunday, February 12, 2006


The Rev. Dana Prom Smith, S.T.D., Ph.D. (11/1/05)

My wife thinks I’m crazy. She may be right. Sometimes she is although not as often as she thinks. The reason for her diagnosis (obsessive-compulsive) is that I dug up my four sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) plants, potted them, and took them in the house. Gretchen doesn’t understand that craziness is often a sign of genius. As a matter of fact, she elicits sympathy from her friends all while clipping off sweet basil leaves.

One sweet basil went in the garage on a wall next to the den under a grow light, another next to a south-facing, sliding glass door in the dining room, and the other two on the south-east-facing window sill of my study. All of them are flourishing.

Next, I potted a dill (Anethium graveolens) about five feet tall. Gretchen thought I had really lost it with the dill. First, I put it in the garage under the grow light. Then I moved it into my study where my wife has no decorating and design authority which has not prevented her from voicing her opinions and making occasional clean-sweep sorties.

However, seeing it’s airy elegance and grace, she allowed me to put it in the dining room next to the sweet basil. She even harvested some of the dill seeds for the tomato juice she was making from our excess tomatoes with her mother’s vintage Foley Food Mill. The sweet basil and dill are additions of beauty, aroma, and vitality to a winter’s room, especially set against brown fields autumned of green.

Next, I potted my parsley (Petroselinium crispum) and set it on my window sill. However, since it’s a biennial in it’s second year, I don’t hold out much hope for it’s future. Then I took an already potted mint (Mentha piperita) in the house. However, it suffered a couple of nights outside in the cold under 32 degrees. I’m now nursing it back to flourishing health. Next, I potted the chives (Allium schoenoprasium) where it sits next to my printer. Finally, I potted the cilantro (Coriandrum satrium) and brought it into my study. It’s doing well. I had to stop my transplanting, containerized project because I ran out of window sills permitted by Martha Stewart Redux.

What did I inadvertantly do right? We have a humidifier sitting in the dining room apparently supplying enough humidity for plants, humans, our three-legged dog Roxie, and various spiders. Also, in the garage I carelessly left an open bucket of water. The plants get enough humidity and sunlight (real and fake). The ones in the dining room are doing best.

They were doing so well that I suggested to Gretchen bringing the three containerized tomato plants from the garage into the dining room. She replied, "I’m putting my foot down on that one. No!" I didn’t see her foot hit the floor, but I did see a throbbing jugular and flared nostrils, hear a high-pitched voice, and see her green eyes turning cougarish. I dreamt that night of turning the dining room into a greenhouse and the garage a dining room. I kept my dreams to myself aware that genius is often unrecognized.

Copyright © Dana Prom Smith 2005

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