Middle Daughter brought home a couple of sweet potatoes last Thanksgiving or Christmas. I let them lie on my kitchen cupboard for a very long time. Months, in fact. Several times I asked her what she was planning for them, but the answers were vague — something about sweet potato fries. And mumblings about looking up a special recipe. Certain Man said that she didn’t have to worry about him taking them when she wasn’t looking. He was convinced that he didn’t like sweet potatoes.
So the months went by. (Yes, MONTHS) And then the largest of the sweet potatoes showed signs of life. Little sprouts started to appear and it shriveled up and looked pitiful. One day, when one of my outside planters was looking rather bare, I gathered it up, dug a quick hole in the planter and put it in. Didn’t ask, didn’t tell until some time later when a gorgeous vine had started to spring forth. There was more relief than anything else on the part of Middle Daughter. She was tired of looking at them, and tired of me asking her to do something with them.
For several months, I’ve watched and watered and fertilized and envisioned what might be going on in that big brown planter. I planted some mums in there to give some color and they are blooming for the second time. Several times I asked people if they thought it might be producing a crop of sweet potatoes down there. I was especially interested because we have discovered that Certain Man is not as adverse to them as he thought he was. I kept waiting and waiting and over the last week, the vine looked like it was wilting. I was so excited. I was thinking there could be so many sweet potatoes in there that there wasn’t hardly enough room for them all. I was sure they would be a few in there as big as my hand, and they would be smooth and sweet and wonderful.
Tonight was the night that Middle Daughter left for her next big adventure. As she was pulling out of the driveway (on her way to Youngest Son’s house, then to the airport, then to Miami where she meets her Aunt Lena, then on to Buenos Aires , then on to ANTARCTICA!!!) she paused when she saw that I was beginning to dig into the brown planter.
“Oh, Mom,” she said, “I was hoping that you would dig that up I want to see!”
I pulled up the plant. Nothing on the end of it that was remarkable.
“There’s nothing there,” intoned Certain Man, also watching with great interest.
“I’m pretty sure there is,” I insisted, and began to dig deep into the soft dirt. Sure enough, I came up with one that was about a quarter of the size I was hoping for. I dug deeper and deeper, came up with a few more puny ones and that was it.
I don’t expect that they will make much of anything too pretentious for a company dinner. I think they will taste good, but there just isn’t enough of them.
Next year, I just might see if Certain Man will plant a few in the garden. If we could do this good by accident, just think what we might do on purpose.
And that is the news from Shady Acres where Middle Daughter has gone off on her excursion without doing our Thankful Wall, where Certain Man is working on it while we speak, and this Delaware Grammy is so grateful for the blessings of this time and this place.
My heart gives grateful praise.