April Fool

April 2007
Gardening Forever

Happy New Year, April Fools

The vernal equinox, was once the celebrated as New Years Day. In ancient cultures, the new year was celebrated for eight days, beginning on March 25 and ending April 1. But then, the efficiency experts began complaining that we were losing too much time.

So, in 1584, when the Gregorian calendar was introduced, King Charles IX of France ruled that New Year’s Day be moved to January 1st. The weather in January is usually so nasty, few people have the desire to frolic for eight days. Efficiency experts were thrilled.

Remember, no one had cell phones or instant messaging in 1564 and it took awhile for the word about the calendar change to get out. Folks who did not learn about the new date continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1.

These traditionalists, or people without cell phones, were subject to ridicule and sent on “fools errands,” sent invitations to nonexistent parties and were the victims of practical jokes. The butts of these pranks became known as a “poisson d’avril” or “April fish” because a young naive fish is easily caught.

This April, we still have tree work to do from last spring’s tornado. Digging holes, planting trees, watering and fertilizing are a lot more work than Jules is used to. He really needs to get into shape for the gardening season, since we (he) will be planting several new replacement trees in the lawn. So, I enrolled Jules in a weight training program.

Although you are more likely to see him at Westlake Hardware store than the YMCA, Jules thought I would believe that they were selling garden supplies and tools at the community center weight room. Supposedly, Home Depot has an outlet there.

A woman instinctively knows when her husband is seeing someone else. I suspected he was out there running around when he come home with the distinct fragrance of potting soil on his clothes and dirt under his fingernails. But the real clue was a receipt in his jeans pocket from Family Tree Nursery. I found a crumpled receipt in the car ashtray from Earl May.

I’m not certain who is the bigger April Fool, me for enrolling him in a class he didn’t want to take, or him for pretending to go. Did he think I wouldn’t notice the shiny new rake and spade hanging in the garage?

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