Sow There!: New love and taking a chance with old seed packets, July 27, 2018

PUBLISHED: July 27, 2018 at 6:57 am New love is amazing, and at times annoying. We’ve all had a friend who makes a match and looks 10 years younger, irradiated and giddy, her voice a tone of a thousand tiny ringing bells.

New love makes your body pump natural chemicals, a treasure/pleasure box of dopamine and norepinephrine. The chemicals make the lovesick person energetic and euphoric, and in some cases — annoying. If you’ve lived long enough, hopefully you’ve spent some time on this natural high.

New love also causes interruptions in otherwise normal conversations.

I could be talking about my Uncle Ned’s recent surgery, when suddenly …

Dopamine Dora declares: “That reminds me, let me tell you this adorable thing New Beau said yesterday.”

How did my uncle’s surgery remind Dora of her beloved? Because her new infatuation is the only thing that was on her mind.

If you’re ordering a hamburger …

Dopamine Dora: “New Beau loves the sauerkraut here. I would have never thought I would fall for a guy who loves sauerkraut …”

And on and on it goes, ad nauseam.

Many forms of love

I am realizing that romantic love and new teacher love have a few things in common.

Now that I am consumed with setting up my classroom and daydreaming about teaching plans, my mind is entirely focused on my future students.

Most every conversation with friends includes a long, detailed story about placement of desks or fun things the children and I may or may not do. I haven’t even met my students, and already we’re dancing in the hallways. I’ve been looking over last year’s class photo to memorize their names, and already I’m talking about them in a dopey way.

Many other loves have similarities. Puppy love, for example, can include a seemingly endless display of cute pup photos from your friends’ cell phone. If you find two avid gardeners chatting near the punch bowl, they’ll be love-loving on hydrangea, or sharing their love/hate relationship with Hosta. I don’t entirely understand the hubbub with World Cup soccer, but I know if two guys love it, that’s about all they talk about.

The thing about new love is that it doesn’t stay new. It leads to attachment, which monopolizes fewer conversations and blooms into something far more worthwhile.

I can’t wait.

 (more below pictures)

Thinking of cooler times

With the passing of the summer equinox, each day is shorter than the day before. That’s meaningless in my mind when it’s 105 degrees and walking to the far regions of the yard feels like hitchhiking through Death Valley. Unless you wake up at 6 a.m., not much is going to get done when the heat sucks your energy like a black hole.

I was upset with myself when I realized I forgot to plant zinnia seeds in June. I’ve learned the hard way that May is too soon, and this year June came and went. I grabbed the seeds from my kitchen cupboard and foolishly stuck them in the ground, then realized the seeds were older than my expired canned foods.

I won’t be disappointed if the seeds don’t grow. The seeds would be wise to decide it’s too hot outside. I’m just glad I don’t need to look at those ancient seed packets next year.

I know I’m not alone in wishing this heat would go away. Last week I was running errands, in a rush. I was comfortable in my air-conditioned car, and I had some zippy tunes playing on the radio. When I pulled into the parking lot downtown, my patience was tested as a group of people inched across the black pavement. Their soundtrack had a dramatically slower tempo.

I parked. My song ended. As I walked, my pace also slowed to a zombie march.

Now that I’ve exhausted my supply of expired seeds, it’s time to think about a cooler season. I realize it’s now or never for planting seeds of cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Carrots can be planted in July and August, according to the trusted Chico Valley Area Planting Guide. If you have counter space, you can start lettuce indoors. I’m thinking the best place for pots is in the middle of the kitchen floor, so it’s more difficult to forget to add water when you’re dancing the zombie trot.

Beating the odds

Planting older seeds is never the best choice. However, some seeds may surprise you. The Gardening Know How website notes that germination rates decline over time. This means the life in the seeds expires. Corn and peppers may term out after a single year, whereas beans, peas, tomatoes and carrots can “live” in their paper package up to four. Cucumbers and lettuce may give you a show of life after six years. The key, the writers state, is to keep your packets in a cool, dark place, perhaps a place like my kitchen cupboard.

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