New Life and a Black Thumb

I am so smitten with these tee-tiny baby eggplants. This one can't be bigger than my thumb, but it's already vibrantly purple. I check up on it every day, thrilled with its progress as it progressively increases in size.

Same goes for these - they're called Jellybean Tomatoes. They grow on a chain, like grapes. I'm willing to bet that the majority of these adorable little babies won't even make it into the house.

Why did I accept a bag of 21 cucumbers from a co-worker? I don't even LIKE cucumbers - I feel like they make everything else on my plate taste like cucumbers. But I do like pickles...guess this is as good a time as any to learn how to pickle and can.

I accepted 21 cucumbers from a coworker. Even though I don't like them. Even though we have our own growing in the backyard.

I should let you know that this garden is Josh's handiwork, by my request. "I don't want to have anything to do with it," I told him. "I'm a jinx and I'll kill everything." He laughed of course, but I don't think it's far from the truth to call myself a jinx.

My dad has always remarked on my "black thumb," reminding me every summer I tell him that I'm giving gardening yet another shot, of when I was little and so excited about the prospect of food growing in the back yard. One year he offered to put aside a little patch of soil just for me, and I planted strawberries, flowers and string beans. Needless to say, none of the plants yielded, due to my inattention (forgetting to water) or excessive attention (drowning them when I remembered I forgot to water), and as probably anticipated, they all very quickly shriveled up and died in the hot Texas sun. My plant slaughter wasn't exclusive to that one summer, otherwise I might think differently.

Alas, it holds true to this day. Last Saturday while it rained and rained and rained, I found myself desperate for cilantro. Despite having a new rational fear of rain, I ran outside to pluck a few sprigs from the already-fledgling plant. In my haste, I managed to pull the whole damn thing out of the ground, roots and all. I briefly considered re-planting it as I stood there soaked and bewildered, but dejected with the realization that my father was right, I instead returned to the house wet with a fistfull of dirty cilantro, knowing that I'd have stay far away for the rest of the summer, lest I harm any more innocent vegetation.

Is it possible that people really are predestined to have either a green or black thumb? Or am I just clumsy, forgetful and impulsive?

I miss my cilantro.

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