Saturday, May 16, 2009


All week, the desire to plant my poor sagging plants from the windowsill into the garden was tugging on me. Finally, Thursday the wind died down and it got warm, and it was May 14, only one day from the guaranteed safe day to plant, May 15, the day after which there couldn't possibly be a frost-- all the best Minnesota Public Radio meteorologists said so-- and I left work at 4 p.m. and got to work. I was only going to put a few things in, the most desperate-looking plants sagging in their tiny pots. But I got in the hang of it and planted the squash that is already in flower, then a few tomato plants, then all the tomato plants that were on the windowsill, then several of the brussel sprout plants, then what the heck, the allysum in the border of the flower beds where the lilies are already coming up.

I came home at 4 p.m., but before I could get out to the garden I did have one more task from work. I had to open up my computer and check for Sister Ancille's obituary from the St. Cloud Times obituary desk. Sister Ancille was one of the women I had lunch with last week at the diamond jubilee celebration at St. Scholastica Convent. Sister Ancille was a tiny woman and had played the organ for one number at the Mass that day. She told me she had a stroke a few years before, and had to learn to talk again. She talked haltingly, but well, perfectly understandable. But it was clear it caused her trouble so I didn't ask her too many questions. She fell on Tuesday and broke her hip. She had surgery and died Wednesday evening in the hospital. It was a surprise. It let us know again how fragile things are out there at St. Scholastica.

Last night the temperature was expected to drop to 30-35 degrees, and tonight there is another frost warning. The wind was up so high again that it was pointless to put blankets over the plants. I might go put some newspaper around a few. However, the wind damage is pretty bad at this point, after two more days of blowing. I'm going to start my seedlings later next year, and hope for safety in numbers this year. I still have a few tomato plants I could bring inside from where they were "acclimatizing" in large pots just outside the front door.

There are leaves on all the trees, and the flowering trees at the monastery are in full bloom. The lilacs between the parish church and monastery are heavy with blossoms. The grass Steve planted in the large lot behind the parish rectory is coming in nicely. And this week he didn't have any machinery breakdowns.

Sunday afternoon I give a talk to the Oblates at the monastery, about which more in another entry. Sunday night the community receives the body of Sister Ancille, before her funeral on Monday morning.

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