Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Cool Beans

When I got home from work yesterday, I had a mental battle with my own inertia.  After an entire office day, sitting in my office thinking office thoughts, followed by a dreaded trip to the grocery store, the commute home, and with the prospect of cooking dinner still ahead (ugh), my brain succumbed to weakness, and it's little voice was whispering in my ear - "psst...Brandon isn't home yet.  I have free reign with the TV remote for at least an hour.  Look how cozy the couch looks in the air-conditioning.  I haven't seen all the final season of Glee yet.  Go ahead.  Who needs exercise, sunlight, vitamin D.  Actually, Brandon could just pick up Chinese on the way home.  You don't really care about beans anyway..."  What?! Now, just wait a minute, lazy Rain's brain, these are not just any old beans, these are special beans that deserve to be planted and I deserve to plant them!  

Once I changed into my garden shoes, gathered my garden snacks (no one should garden without snacks, right?), and ventured out into the sun and onto my yard swing, my brain adjusted it's attitude and agreed with me about these special beans.  My gardening friend and coworker has bragged about his "Alabama" beans for years, and this year he gave me some to plant on my recently erected bean teepee.   My friends father-in-law was a Baptist preacher, and he was preaching at a church in Alabama about thirty years ago, when one of the elderly parishioners brought him some bean seeds as a gift of appreciation.  She told my friends father-in-law that the beans had been in her family for as long as anybody could remember, and that they plant them every year and save the seeds. For the past thirty years, my friend and his family have been growing these beans in Kentucky, and they agree, these are really good beans.   My friend tells me that once he tried to figure out what kind they were, and he thinks they may be Trail of Tears beans, or Shoal Creek beans.  

As I was sitting on my swing, picking the small black beans from crunchy bean pods, and trying to convince Mrs. Hall that they weren't for her to eat, I was thinking about the story of these beans, and I realized that these were truly heirloom seeds.  I mean, I knew they were "heirlooms", of course, and I have purchased other seeds that were "heirlooms", but this is the first time that I really understood that these beans were actually somebody's heirlooms!  For real!  Passed down through generations and then passed on to my friends father-in-law, to his children, and now passed on to me.  Whoa - I just had an heirloom bean epiphany.  Cool.  

During my heirloom bean epiphany, Jamie responded to a text that I sent him earlier confirming that I could bring my corn toss game to my cousins birthday party this weekend (Happy Birthday Cousins!).  This is the weird part - Jamie's text response to my confirmation was "Cool beans."  How strange is that?!  He said "cool beans," which no one says anymore (nerd), while I was admiring my cool beans!  No? Okay, maybe you had to be there...

Anyway... the leaves and twigs I put under the teepee may not have been one of my brightest ideas.  Not only are the leaves not thick enough to kill all the weeds, but now all the sticks make it treacherous to walk there (I scratched my ankle, boohoo), and impossible to hoe the weeds down with out doing more work than my bean inspired enthusiasm could muster.  My solution - just plant beans near the teepee legs.  I excavated five big holes, and planted eight bean seeds in each.  I'm already imagining the tangle of weeds and beans this will be later in the summer, but what the heck, at least I got forty beans in the ground, right?  

The bean teepee was a cinch to wrap in chicken wire since the legs have little branch stubs that make it easy to hang the wire from, so chicken proofing the teepee was easy.  As I admired my handwork, I realized that my lazy office brain was gone.  Maybe it was the vitamin D, or just moving more of my body than my typing fingers, but suddenly cooking dinner didn't seem like a chore anymore.  Maybe it was the magic beans?  They are cool beans.  

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