Wishing for Retirement

“Wishing for Retirement”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


Sometimes it is so hard to have a garden and an outside job.  It is so much more fun to work in a garden than to work at your job.  It is also frustrating to have so many garden chores to do, and no time to do them because you have to go to work Monday through Friday.  Ever notice how many rainy weekends there are followed by sunny weekdays when you can’t work with your plants?


I have been feeling that frustration the last two days.  I have had to try and hurry home after work to take care of the garden.  Another cold front is coming through and a light freeze was predicted for last night.  Yesterday, when I got home, I immediately went out and covered the tropical plants that I want to make sure survives the winter.  I just lightly covered them because it was only barely going to freeze and the freezing temperatures would only last an hour or so.  Everything came through fine.


Tonight, there  is supposed to be a hard freeze here.  It should get down to about 27 degrees, but it will last maybe as long as six hours.  That means full protection for so many plants.  Unfortunately, I had an appointment after work and didn’t get home until around 5:30 PM.   That meant I had to work quickly to cover up so many plants and also fully cover the ones from last night.  It only took me a little over an hour to finish, but the last 25 minutes I was working in the dark.  I was beginning to think it wasn’t worth all the trouble, but then, if I don’t have to replace these plants, I can afford to buy more new plants this year.  Besides some of these plants have a lot of sentimental feelings attached to them, and I would hate to lose them. 


So, I guess all this means is I can’t wait until the only work I have to do is garden chores, and the only commute I have is just a few steps from my door to the garden.







  1. Racquel said,

    February 4, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    It is hard trying to garden when you work a 9-5 job. Soon the days will be longer and that should help you out some Jan.

    • Jan said,

      February 7, 2009 at 6:42 pm

      Well, I guess everyone could tell that I was having not just a bad day, but a bad week at work. I do love my job, but I think I love my garden more.
      Racquel, you are right about the days getting longer. I can tell that already. Usually I can be home for 4 o’clock, but this week I had several commitments that kept me later which is rather unusual. I’ll be glad to get back to normal.

      Tina, I agree. When I had a child to take care of, its seems like I had more time. I don’t know how I did that. It must be true that jobs expand to fill the time alloted.

      Anna, stay home and enjoy it. We (plants & I) made out okay. We didn’t have anything like your temperatures, but when the temperature warms up, plants break dormancy, and then plunges back down again, it causes more damage than if it just stayed cold. It is the covering and uncovering that wears you down.

      Chandramouli, you have a wonderful mother. Of course, we never feel it is too much trouble to do anything for our children.

  2. tina said,

    February 4, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    I know what you mean. It will come before you know it then you’ll wonder how the heck you could even garden AND work at the same time.

  3. February 4, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    I hope you are OK and your babies survive the cold. It’s about 11 degrees here in NC and our normal is 35-40. This is some cold front. But then I see it’s going to be 70 on Sunday.

    I do know how it feels to run out of time in the garden when you work. I worked for years and am glad to be home now–most of the time. In the dead of winter it’s a little too quiet around here. I put in for a secretary job but they never called. I’m not boo hooing over it.

  4. February 4, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    I share your frustration, Jan. If not for my mom, my garden wouldn’t have survived. Poor mom has to climb upstairs every morning to water them when I’m at work!

  5. Melanthia said,

    February 5, 2009 at 12:14 am

    I understand your frustration. When I worked outside the home I’d often rush home and end up gardening in my slacks and nice shirts. Now working from home with a little one, I can sneak out during naps and such. But there are days, bad weather days, when there’s no escape. That’s the hardest, seeing your garden but not touching it!

    • Jan said,

      February 7, 2009 at 6:57 pm

      Melanthia, you are right about seeing your garden but not touching it. I hate it when I have to rush past flower beds on my way to the car, and coming home with just a few min. of daylight left. I, too, have done the working in the garden in “good” clothes. You think you’ll only do one little thing, but that one thing leads to another, then another.

      Thanks, Steve, for helping me see the positive side of things. I was in a “mood.” The best thing was that all the plants I covered made it through a hard freeze unscathed.

      Tessa, modern life can be so complicated. You don’t work outside the home, but you do work, and children take precedence over a garden. As they get older, you do have more free time.

      Andre, I think my problem is that I haven’t realize that I have only myself in the garden, not a staff of five. Until I retire, I need to try more low maintenance, hardy perennials.

  6. Steve said,

    February 5, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Jan, I feel your pain! May I just comment how moving it is to see the extent of your commitment to your plants and garden? There are thousands who have no such a passion nor such an intensity of care about their projects. So many would shine on the whole idea of all that effort which not only required your work to cover and uncover stuff, but to even pay attention to the weather closely in the first place. Gardening is like that and I cannot help but suspect you knew that going in. I think you;re having a mood!!! I feel it! I say a huge Bully for you! I am impressed.

  7. Tessa said,

    February 5, 2009 at 1:55 am

    I’m with ya! Although I don’t work outside the home- don’t know how you do it, I have been home schooling my kids for 9 years, included in that is everyone being at home…making more messes, etc. I would do it all over again, if given the choice, but when weeks go by and I can’t get outside…I think to myself ‘Are they ever going to leave?’ 😉 Then they’ll leave and I’ll have empty nest syndrome! Top that with the tutoring I do and it’s agonizing when I can’t get something done out there!

  8. andré said,

    February 5, 2009 at 3:07 am

    I know how you feel, as I have the same problem! I haven’t come up with a solution to this problem yet…

  9. linnie said,

    February 5, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Oh Jan how I know what you are feeling. I am retired now and can devote my time to my garden. It is a wonderful freedom.
    I loved Steve’s comments about your passion and intensity. All part of a gardener’s attributes. Your turn will come dear gardener and you will revel in it.

    Linnie in Destrehan, LA 2/5/09

    • Jan said,

      February 7, 2009 at 6:58 pm

      Thanks, Linnie. I just can’t wait for my turn.

  10. Phillip said,

    February 5, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    I know exactly what you mean! I do it all the time. I’m always fantasizing about 4-day work weeks or better yet, retirement! I’m just a home body – nothing would make me happier than staying at home all the time and taking care of the house and garden. I just hope that when I do retire, which I can technically do in 8 years (!!!), I’ll have the health and inclination to do all I do now.

  11. Jon said,

    February 5, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    I hear you loud and clear and can relate to what you are feeling about retirement. I had the same thoughts and feelings in early 2006 just before I finally made the decision to go ahead and retire early. I began to have various health issues which prompted me to thow caution to the wind and to go on and retire while I still had some bits of mind and body remaining to enable me to enjoy myself. I have not regretted taking the plunge. Life is too short to keep on working until you drop. You owe some quality time to and for yourself so go for it and don’t look back.

    Jon at Mississippi Garden

  12. Jean said,

    February 6, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Hmm, be careful what you wish for Jan! I’ve been wishing the same thing for decades. Now I have the time but only because of a massive layoff I was part of. I try to enjoy my time in the garden now but I’m always worried about the future since the job market where I live is pretty bad. Still, I’m thankful for this time. Your time will come too and hopefully it’ll be in a good way. 🙂

    • Jan said,

      February 7, 2009 at 7:02 pm

      Jean, I know you have mixed feelings about your free time to garden. I hope things turn around for you soon. I don’t have too many more years to retirement; I guess I can count my blessings and wait.

      Yes, Brenda, you are very fortunate.

  13. Brenda Kula said,

    February 7, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    I am a very fortunate gardener, as this is one of the primary jobs I count in my daily duties. Not really a duty, is it? It is a pleasure.

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