Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Coffee sipping and courtyard cleaning

Yesterday I sipped coffee and flipped through a magazine until I just had to go outside. After our brush with Hurricane Hermine – OK, OK, Tropical Storm Hermine – the weather has been fall-like. Shh, don't tell the weather gods. It's not kosher to let Georgia get below 90* until October.

The breeze didn't come from the river. Trust me, you can tell when it does. A mix between factories and those close to the surface sewers. It wasn't coming from the Atlantic either. No salty mix of freedom and mystery. No, this was just one of those lovely breezes that stems from nowhere but blow the beards of the live oaks and make you put on a pair of shorts and running shoes and go strolling down a few blocks to the park.

Chronic pain made it a one-loop-around-the-park morning and that was just fine: I had to get back and re-pot my coffee plant. Yes. I have a coffee plant. His name is Walter and he is quite splendid. In fact, the card with growing instructions said that in 3-5 years he just may bloom and give me some beans. Probably no more than a feeble cup of espresso but still. Coffee!!

Walter, the splendid coffee plant

Anyway, before I could re-pot dear Walter, I had to clean up the mimosa strewn courtyard. Don't get excited. I'm talking about the trees. Although it would have been some kind of party to wake up to bottles of orange juice and champagne planted next to the wishbone flowers. Hermine blew around the already messy, beautiful foliage and those nasty seed pods that look like zombie Lima beans. Of course, thanks to the clouds of mosquitoes breeding in the moist courtyard undergrowth, I haven't been outside to do any cleaning since May. I guess I can't blame everything on Hermine but I'll try. I took a rake to the downed leaves, zombie beans and sticks. All the empty pots got stacked on the potting table and I even scared an adorable gecko who thought very little of my friendly advances. I swept off the small concrete slab and then had to dig around the bugs that had made homes in the last of my potting soil. Walter had better give me more than just a few, measly beans for that. There were *shudder* spiders.

It's times like these when I know I've turned into my mother. Mom is still up and out in the garden on nice mornings, coffee in hand. She starts out on the porch, sipping and bird watching. Inevitably, a weed or rose in need of a prune will lure her from the porch and there she goes, pulling and tugging, re-potting plants and re-graveling paths. In her pajamas and bare feet.

Jon laughs at my refusal to wear shoes, even to wander down the gravel and mud and broken shell lane to meet visitors who get confused by our lack of location on modern GPS. We live between two well marked, paved streets in Mid-town Savannah and yet lanes seem to be these alien lands, alternate dimensions filled with trash cans, recycle bins, and everyone's cast offs. The courtyard is usually damp and the moss is squishy. My toes like that much more than those nasty broken shells. I just smile at him and his ever present shoes, shift another pot and tell him it's in my DNA.


  1. Glad you only had zombie beans and stuff knocked down. Our yard looked like a pine cone explosion Saturday morning.
    Good to hear from you, Jen.

  2. I would love a coffee plant. I have raspberries and blackberries that will also take some time to produce.

    I spent part of my Saturday morning cleaning up my garden after the tropical storm.

    1. I'm hoping it produces but even if it doesn't it's fun to have one!

      Glad you didn't have any serious damage after the storm.

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