A Long Row to Hoe

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Internet Archive Book Images Image from page 1050 of “Harper’s New Monthly Magazine Volume 109 June to November 1904” (1904)



As I stand at the end of my garden, my eye tracks along the long row of potatoes that need to be covered up with soil. Only one is blooming right now, and my dad told me the other day that right before they bloom they should be covered. ” It doesn’t matter if you almost cover it up.”

It seems like a daunting task. I am already drained physically just from working the two days I dragged myself to work. What makes it so bad is I had been off work for Easter, Friday and Monday, and I had been to the doctor Tuesday and took a personal day Wednesday as well. But, I am still drained of energy.

I keep looking at this long row, about seventy potato plants worth growing and needing to be worked. At the time I planted them I wasn’t thinking about the work involved in actually getting to the production stage. My thoughts were for my parents, both in their late sixties now, both with debilitating ailments. Having enough to go around was the object in planting so many.

Bad knees along with a bad knee replacement keeps my dad from gardening much anymore and my mom has polymyalgia rhuematica which makes activity difficult for her. Lately, she is out of breath from simple tasks. Her primary care doctor insists she has a heart problem, but she has been to a specialist twice and they have found nothing.

After thinking about it for a few moments longer, I decide to only cover the plant that has blooms. The rest don’t have any blooms yet, and I need to conserve my energy for everything else that needs to be done today. Conserving energy is something I have been doing a lot lately, as I may now have my own debilitating illness to contend with. The initial diagnosis I received at the neurologist on Tuesday is Multiple Sclerosis.

I still have to have an MRI to check for lesions, and a sleep study to see if there is any reason for being so fatigued on a daily basis that could be a result of poor sleep. I sleep during the day as much as I can, when I can. I am just that exhausted and run down. Then, in June, I will see the doctor and hopefully have a definite diagnosis, good or bad.

I look at that long row of potatoes again. A long row to hoe, either way it goes.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. carolee says:

    Best of luck in your future…what ever comes. I hope your garden gives you peace, as well as bounty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughts. It is definitely a source of needed stress relief.


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