Madison Monday: Waiting for tomatoes

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If waiting were weather, it’d be humid and hot. The kind of air that wets your throat as you breath it in. The kind of summer day where the sun goes down but the temperature does not. That’s waiting.

We’ve been doing a lot of it in Madison lately. Waiting for the rain to stop. Waiting to see how high the river will rise. Waiting to hear if any racing would happen at all this weekend (it didn’t).

I’ve started walking up and down Hatcher Hill on a semi-regular basis, and I’m waiting for my clothes to fit a little less tightly. I’m waiting on writing that’s out there in the world, hoping to find a home. And we’re all waiting on the summer’s first tomatoes.

cherry tomatoesIf you’re not waiting on the first tomatoes because you already have some, shut up. I don’t want to hear about it. This is not about you and your preternaturally fast tomato plants. This is about my all-consuming need to eat fresh tomatoes from the garden.

I should know better. I do know better. It’s a rare year when you eat a tomato before the 4th of July around here. I know that. It doesn’t make it any easier, though.

There are lots of things in life that you wait for, and then they’re never as exciting when they actually happen. There are some things that you can get too much of after a while. Tomatoes are neither of those things. Sometimes it just seems so wrong to live in a universe where you can really only eat fresh-out-of-the-garden, sun-warmed tomatoes for about 3 months out of the year. Why, oh, why so short a growing season?

I got my tomatoes in late this year, so it’s going to be even worse than usual. Some friends who visited Memphis recently brought me a collection of cherry tomatoes from the farmer’s market there. It was delicious torture. I ate them all in about a day. I want more. Now.

So, truthfully, I have eaten a sum total of six cherry tomatoes already this year from our garden. Do not tell my family. I figure if you can’t come up to the community garden with me, you really don’t deserve the cherry tomatoes. And also, there’s no way I have enough self control to make it from the garden to our house.

I have a problem, I know.

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