Herald-Journal Herald and Journal, June 1, 1998

Five down and one to go


Here we are almost through May and I have not planted one bit of garden.

Usually by now I would at least have potatoes in the ground. My sweet corn should have been planted, too. I still have time for that, but I feel strangely unmotivated about planting vegetables this year.

For the last two nights, I have been concentrating on getting some flower beds weeded.

It seems that one, possibly two of my rose bushes survived the winter. I will have to find some new ones to replace them. I use the Minnesota Tip method to protect my rose bushes, but somehow our unusually warm winter managed to do them in.

Flower gardening is really a lot more fun than vegetable gardening. When you grow flowers, you have beautiful blossoms to decorate your house. When you grow vegetables, you not only have to weed them repeatedly, you need to take care of the produce once it is harvested.

I had procrastinated as long as I could before I started weeding the flower beds. My chief motivator? Our youngest child, Jesy, is graduating June 7. I need to spruce up the place and get some color growing around the house, before the day of the big event. This will be the last of our six children to graduate. Five down and one to go! This calls for a celebration!

The invitations are sent. The house is semi-clean. I'm starting to think about the food I will need to make for the event. Of course, the Fink kids graduations always require a huge bowl of Mom's potato salad. This is potato salad the way my mother used to make it. I learned to season it by tasting the salad for her when I still lived at home.

"What do you think it needs?," she would ask. "More pepper," I always said.

The five previous graduates will all be helping me, with the graduation cake, salads, set-up and clean-up. There are definite advantages to having a big family.

I know some people prepare for graduation parties in a big way. Some people even remodel their houses and buy new furniture. If my house is clean and I have plenty of food on the table, that will be good enough for me.

Actually, there are a few other little details that I need to attend to. When our daughter, Lisa, graduated four years ago, I did the usual fluttering around before the graduation. I wanted to be absolutely sure that everything was ready before I left for the graduation ceremony. The guests for the graduation party would be arriving shortly after we came home.

I thought I was completely ready, completely prepared. I even made sure I had the battery charged on the video camera so I could tape Lisa coming down the aisle.

We got to the ceremony early. We took our places in the Delano High School gym. I began to get the camera ready. All of a sudden I had the strangest feeling. I took a closer look at the video camera. Then I realized what was wrong. I had my completely charged battery attached to a video camera with no video tape in it.

I made a mad dash home and back, arriving just as the graduates were lining up to enter the gym. I wonder what I will forget this time?

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