My little sister, "Boop", used to accuse me of making up my dreams just to tell an interesting or funny story. Well, I only wish I were that imaginative a writer. Or, maybe I am but I just haven’t figured out how to do it while I’m awake. But that’s okay, several of my dreams have evolved into short stories and even an unpublished novel so they don’t go to waste.
I almost always enjoy my dreams and usually remember them at least for a few minutes once I wake up. If I relate them to Big Jim or even Clancy I remember them even longer. Then sometimes we try to figure out what triggered them in the first place.
Take last night. I found myself, with a quiet lady in a pink sundress, in a charming old house filled with Victorian furbelows and crammed with hanging plants and African Violets. Turned out it was the home and laboratory of the renowned Plant Inventor, “Blossom Burpee”.
Apparently I was there to learn of her latest discovery; how to put juice into tomatoes! The process itself was awesome(in a dream world, of course) and made perfect sense (also in a dream world, of course). Blossom took the dry, flat, papery tomato which looked like a red Japanese lantern and attached the open end to a green tube that ended with a five pointed suction cup. The tomato was held in place by curly, tendril looking holders. Then she opened the valve on a huge vat of Libby’s tomato juice and let it seep into the fruit until it plumped up. I remember we were very excited by the discovery but then I woke up.
Silly huh? Oh well, it seems it’s the most absurd ones that stick in my mind so I have to think about them. I’m supposed to be working on Maggie’s Muffins, my next juvenile novel, this morning but here I am thinking about tomatoes.
Mom is the silent woman in the pink dress. Mom often accompanies me in in my dreams, my way of keeping her close probably, although she’d hate the pink sundress. But also she might be one of the triggers. I think I’ve got this figured out.
Yesterday we stopped at a red light next to a Sears store. I watched some men beginning to arrange an outside garden center. Ah, signs of Spring at last. We drove on and I forgot about it. But once I began fixating on Blossom Burpee today, I made the connection.
When we were kids in Levittown, PA, Mom became friends with an older lady who worked in -you guessed it-the Sears Garden center. We were invited to her home, which, as I recall it was more garden than cottage. She also had baby goats and numerous cats. She shared vintage seeds with Mom, and sponsored her for the garden club. She also got my mother hooked on African Violets, an interest that 10 years later had more than 70 varieties lining the window sills of our house in Adams, MA. Grandma Irwin as we called her, showed us how to grow carrot tops and sweet potato vines in jars. We even planted green beans in paper cups that later turned into the beans we ate for supper.
This last is significant and may explain the conundrum; which came first the tomato or the juice?
See you down the road,