Things are gonna get brighter | Sow There!

It’s time to kick 2021 to the curb.

Best break-up ever! No regrets. No sobbing for what could have been.

“Listen, 2021, It just didn’t work out. I tried, but you were not the right fit. It’s time for a change.”

I also said a stern goodbye to 2020 thinking the year was just an odd set of circumstances in what has been an excellent life.

For Christmas 2020 my sister bought me an ornament. When I opened the fancy little box I saw a star-shaped object made of thin, light-weight wood. It clearly stated “2020.”

“Thank you. I like to collect at least one ornament each year.”

“Look closely,” my sister said with an older-sister smirk.

She had given the gift privately because it was not meant for the eyes of children.

I refocused. The intricate ornamentation along the edge actually read “(expletive) 2020,” repeatedly, all the way around the perimeter. This was crafty, and definitely something I would not want to hang on my tree.

My first reaction was to refuse the gift. At the time, I considered the expletive and the numbers “2020” equally offensive.

2020 was tough. I had many fun moments, but missed many more. At times my stomach was tight with worry for loved ones who were older or who had known health problems. I washed my hands until they were raw. My family held Zoom parties, but we made the choice to postpone in-person get-togethers — later, after, when it was safe …

When my father was in the hospital due to the ravages of chemotherapy, our family was not allowed to visit on Christmas nor his birthday. Thank you COVID. We had him home for two days, for which I am thankful, because he did not die alone. Yes, 2020 deserves an expletive, but I don’t necessarily want to hang that on my tree.

2021 would be better, certainly.

I’m glad I’m still here to curse both the years 2020 and 2021. I experienced joy, made new friends, paid my rent and gained 15 pounds. I dined at outdoor restaurants, took long walks, yelled at the ocean. But overall, there was a lot that happened worldwide that is better left to fading memories.

Welcome 2022.

Ooh-oo child, things are gonna get easier.

I resolve to make the best of it.

Even if optimism is in as short supply as BinaxNOW home COVID testing kits, we can go about our normal routines expecting the best.

Plant tomatoes

I wager the sun will be shining in July and mid-January is a good time to plant tomatoes.

Poke holes in yogurt containers and fill them with potting soil. Moisten the soil before popping in the seeds. (It works better this way). Cover the container with plastic wrap. The warmest place in my house is on top of the refrigerator.

The seeds should sprout in about 7-10 days. Watch each day and if white, hairy mold develops on the soil, uncover the plastic for a few hours, and scratch off the mold.

After you see the tiny sprouts, move the pots to a sunny windowsill during the day, and move back to a warmer area in your house during the night. Your tomatoes will grow “leggy” as they stretch toward the faint sunlight. After your tomatoes are 4-8 inches tall, you’ll notice that they don’t look quite right.

Transfer the plant to a 4-inch pot but bury ½ to ⅔ of the “leggy” stem under the soil, leaving a few inches of stem and the leaves to catch more light.

Tomato cuttings will grow roots in water, and tomato plants will send out roots from the main stem you buried under the soil. If the plant continues to grow “leggy” you can repeat the process into a one-gallon container.

My experience is that it is much easier to buy one-gallon tomatoes at the nursery in May and June. However, planting seeds now will mean you are doing something hopeful, rather than just waiting around for things to get better.

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