Gardening is my Hobby

I was at the Anderson Nursery a week ago with a cart filled with seedlings I planned to plant in my garden. An old guy looked and me and said, “You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you.”

“Everyone needs a hobby,” I said.

“Yup,” he said. “I tell my wife it keeps me out of the bars and the whorehouses!”

It’s funny that I tell people gardening is my hobby, but I don’t know what else to say. I used to train in traditional karate, but I ran out of time for that after having my second child. Now if someone asks me what’s my hobby, I say “gardening.”

I remember a story told by a friend who was soon to graduate from law school and was applying for a job. The boss of the law firm asked her several questions relevant to the law but then asked her what was her hobby. She thought for a few seconds then said she was going to school full-time, working part-time and she had a baby boy at home. So she really didn’t have time for a hobby.

But the managing partner pressed her, thinking there must be something she liked to do on the side. Unable to think of anything else, she said, “I shop!”

I decided a few years ago that “gardening” would be my fallback position in situations like that, because I have become interested in it. And it all started when I moved to Southern California.

When I lived in the Midwest, plants were simply part of the landscape. I would have been hard-pressed to identify and name even the most common trees and flowering plants. But then I moved to San Diego where nearly everything grows, provided you water it. Suddenly plants were strange and exotic.

After I had kids, I also noticed that gardening was very compatible with child care. It was something you could focus on while also entertaining a little kid by giving him a job of pulling weeds or digging holes. Gardening allowed room for talking, interacting and playing.

Hobbies are better-suited for early life and old age. Midlife is too filled with work and kids. But in case anyone asks, I have a ready answer for what’s my hobby that isn’t too far off the mark.

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2 Comments on “Gardening is my Hobby”

  1. […] I thought about that and wondered if she was talking some sense into me. Do people really need serious hobbies when they’ve got a lot on their plate as it is? It’s true I once said my fallback position, if anyone asked me what my hobby is, would be gardening. […]

  2. Happy New Year to you and your family!…thanks again for your help in McDonald Center relocation at Sharp…appreciated your wit and book recommendations in your blog…I look forward to reading it when it appears….

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