If you were to ask Mr. LH what in the world I was thinking, he might tell you that trying to understand my motivations for anything would take a lifetime. But in this house, my request for an extremely practical gift is nothing new.
Several years ago when unemployment forced us to move out of state (from a farmhouse on 3.5 acres to out little house in a suburban neighborhood on a tenth of an acre), we left a lot of our things behind...including ALL of our large gardening tools. We figured gardening tools could be purchased again as we needed them.
We bought a rake when we discovered the house we were renting had horrible thatch problems in the yard. Then I asked for (and received) a pitchfork for Mother's Day when I started a compost pile for all the pine needles, leaves and grass clippings.
But although I love to garden, I never bought a shovel. There was always something more important to spend the money on. So for three summers, I grew vegetables and perennials in containers and small beds using a hand trowel.
When I announced to my son my Christmas wish of a shovel, it took him a minute to respond. All he could manage to say was "A shovel? No, seriously." I think he really thought I had been joking.
So this past Christmas I got a couple of gift cards equaling what he and his fiancee thought a shovel might cost. I was quite grateful.
I didn't immediately run out to buy my shovel. In fact, I put off buying one for a couple of months. I had to find a deal, right?
I wound up getting my shovel right before the arrival of Spring. In fact, with the help of a hefty coupon and a sale at Ace Hardware, I bought two.
A gardener can never have too many shovels, right?