Main Entry: 3put·ter
Function: intransitive verb
1 : to move or act aimlessly or idly
2 : to work at random : tinker
— put·ter·er \-tər-ər\ noun
Last weekend I puttered around. As Webster so aptly defines, I moved and acted aimlessly or idly, I worked at random. When you are a gardener–especially during early Spring–you don’t often get a chance to putter. Anticipation drives you. Beds are cleaned out, compost spread, seeds sown, and transplants placed. Paths are laid. New gardens are planned, and equipment is repaired. It is a time filled with preparation for future harvests and good meals, coupled with a bit of anxiety about getting everything done that you hoped to accomplish this season. But by mid-May, at least here in north Florida, the big Spring chores are mostly done. At least, the important ones are done. Well, most of them. The edible ones, at least!
So, I just puttered. That doesn’t mean I did nothing, but it does mean that I didn’t have a big list of stuff to do. It does mean that I slowed down long enough to notice and appreciate the beauty around us and the progress of the season. I made a pitcher of sangria and set it in the fridge. I sat around and cleaned the gorgeous shallots while watching some TV. I fell asleep reading my book. I sat under the old oak tree and watched the chickens play with a watermelon rind, my feet chilling in the doggie pool (it was clean!). We held hands and made plans and painted the back door orange! I soaked in the beauty of the garden. I noticed that the pecan trees and oak trees had fully leafed out. I snapped a big bowl of our first green beans while I watched my hubby trim the front hedges. Snapping green beans on the front porch is a lost pleasure. I also took pleasure in watching my husband do his own puttering. He deserves to! Would anything really big and important get done around here if it weren’t for him? Thank you, husband, for the mowed lawns, the trimmed hedges, the sprinkler systems, the wireless network, the new columns on the front porch, the old windows that finally open again to welcome the spring breezes, the new chicken coop, the garden beds, the stone paths, the children! Thanks for everything that I love and thanks for being with me.
Slow down, make yourself a pitcher of sangria and putter. Don’t go anywhere for the entire weekend! Hold hands with someone. Take pleasure in the work you have done. Appreciate just how beautiful this world of ours is.
Here’s my sangria recipe. Enjoy!
1 halfway decent bottle of red wine
About ¼ cup of orange liqueur (Cointreau or Triple Sec)
About ¼ cup of brandy
One lemon, sliced thin
One lime, sliced thin
A splash of lemon-lime soda
Mix the first four ingredients in a pitcher and taste. Add a little agave nectar to sweeten to taste. I use it instead of simple syrup, because it’s healthier for you. Serve over ice with a nice splash of soda, and garnish with a slice of lemon or lime if you’d like. Sip very slowly with your feet in the dog pool or another more suitable body of water. Work with what you’ve got. Sigh deeply. Things are just fine.