I love to garden. It’s a well-known fact around these parts. And each year, I plant green beans because, let’s face it, what is tastier than green beans fresh from the garden?
So let me tell you a little bit about my relationship with green beans. It starts out great. I enjoy planting the pretty, plump, white seeds neatly in a row. It makes my heart happy to see the little guys sprout proudly from the ground. I love my little green beans and nurture them and keep all the nasty little weeds away from them so they can grow big and strong.
Then, around the first of July, I see tiny green beans appearing and I can hardly contain myself. I just want to pluck those little babies right off the plant and into my mouth. But I refrain. I know if I can wait just a bit longer, they will be the perfect size to throw in a skillet with a pat of butter and fry to perfection. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
So I (im)patiently wait for my beans to come of age. Then I gleefully go out and gather a gaggle of beans. Life is grand! I love my green beans!
And then, do you know what happens next? Those little green beans that I have loved and nurtured from mere seedlings keep on producing like beans-gone-mad. Soon, I am so overwhelmed with green beans I don’t know what to do! I pick them daily for hours on end (it seems:). I can them, I eat them, and I can them some more. They just won’t let up!
I get to the point that I loathe green beans. Come the first of August, my relationship with green beans has gone so far in the tank that the only rational thing I can think to do is rip them violently from the ground. Which is precisely what I do. My love affair with beans ends in a tragic, untimely death.
This year, however, I neglected to do that last step. Instead of destroying my beans, I just ignored them. That’ll teach ‘em! So when I would go out to my garden, I would just give my beans the cold shoulder; the silent treatment, if you will. I’ve tried the same approach on my sweet hubby a time or two when I get irritated with him, and much to my humiliation, they both react the exact same way. They just blissfully continue about their business as if nothing is wrong. The nerve of those guys!
So I’ll be darned if my green beans didn’t start blooming again a week or so ago and start putting on the most beautiful green beans I’ve ever seen. Oh, I was still ignoring them, but my sidelong glance would catch those beauties and I knew it wouldn’t be long before I was back in the row, picking those sweet, succulent beans. But, I told myself, I’m only going to pick enough to eat fresh. That way, I won’t feel like beating my head against the wall by the overwhelming amount of beans these little suckers were putting on. And that’s exactly what I did…(not beat my head against the wall…just picked enough to eat fresh.)
Unfortunately, I forgot to pass that little memo along to Aunt Carolyn.
Aunt Carolyn spends most of her time in Nevada, but for a month or two in the summers, she comes and visits us. She stays with Mom and Dad and the entire family loves when she comes back. She’s here on “vacation,” you know, but you would never guess that by watching her. She works the entire time she’s here. And quite frankly, I don’t know what we’d do without her. This summer, she decided to refinish Heather and my tables. And then, on the side, she’s been asked to do any number of other things.
“Would you be able to help work cows today, Carolyn?”
“Sure! Where at and what time?”
“Could you run [any given child] to ball practice this afternoon, Aunt Carolyn?”
“When you’re in town today, Carolyn, could you pick up some parts?”
I mean, this is her response to anything. I feel kinda bad about it, really, because I feel like we’re taking advantage of her generosity and willingness to work. But she insists that she likes to stay busy, so we just go with it.
And Saturday, Carolyn went out to my garden to pick a couple tomatoes. But this uncontrollable urge overcame her, and she spent the next several hours picking my green beans! And when I say picked, I mean picked. When I returned home, she had at least 5 gallons of green beans picked. Probably more.
My eye started twitching, my head started spinning, my negative feelings for green beans were escalating to the surface. What was I going to do with all those green beans?!
But then, I realized, and my face turned into a big grin, the hard part was over! Carolyn had done the all the work of picking them, all I had to do was can them!
Oh happy day! I could handle that. I actually enjoy canning them. And with help from my lovely assistant Abby, we whipped through those green beans in no time. And now, when I go to my pantry this winter, I will smile every time I grab a can of green beans and I will thank Aunt Carolyn for all her hard work.
My love affair with green beans can continue!
Hope you have a great day!