(As in "Beat Your Neighbor" Tomatoes
from Drummers Garden Center.)
Although, from the sounds of it in our morning phone conversations for the last two weeks, Ethel was ready to beat ME for not getting tomato plants sooner this year. All "we" needed, she'd say, was a nice big plant, with a few blossoms on it, and if "we" could find one with little tomatoes already on it, well that would be nice.
"We." Not quite the royal we, but the "we" that meant I would drive to the garden center, get the plant, come back and offer it up for her approval, plant it, water it, get it in a tomato cage and fertilize it, all under her sharp-eyed direction. And "we" just hadn't had the energy to brave the gardening crowds this year.
Yesterday morning I was out getting coffee (for recreational purposes...it's a holiday weekend after all), and I decided to bite the bullet and see if any garden centers had any tomatoes that fit Ethel's specifications. I knew it was almost better to not get tomatoes than to come home with the puny variety. After all, she'd say every day, she's 92 and she can't afford to wait around for puny little tomato plants to produce. She could die any day, and it would be a shame to go without having one last nice homegrown tomato.
Drummers to my rescue.
Blossoms AND little tomatoes.
There was not only a Roma "Beat Your Neighbor" for Ethel, but two for me plus a nice-sized little plant that's a new Roma variety I decided to try. I called Ethel on my way home and asked her how much she loved me. She said, "It depends." I told her I'd stop by with a surprise for her in a few minutes.
She smiled when I showed up at her doorstep with the plant. "We" cleared a space in her patio garden, planted the tomato, fertilized it, found a cage for it, watered it.
Voila. "We" have a tomato plant.
When I was walking back to put my shovel in the garage, Ethel said..."A lot, kiddo. I love ya a lot."