When the housework gets away from me and I’m surrounded by piles of laundry and dirty dishes and stacks of mail to go through and my foot keeps stepping on a sticky spot on the floor in front of the refrigerator and I’m the carpool driver in about 20 minutes but I can’t find my purse, I start to feel defeated by time.

My two kids, who are dressed and ready to go, look around the house for my pocketbook, which is usually left sitting on the hall table or tucked underneath the office desk or hanging on a kitchen doorknob. I grab my keys and try to straighten what’s in my path as we check the hour on the microwave clock and head toward the garage.

“Where is the house fairy?” I ask in the midst of all the chaos. “Who’s going to help us get caught up with all this work?”

My children stop and hand me my purse. They look at me with puzzled faces.

“You’re the house fairy,” my teen-aged son usually replies.

I know he wants to ask if he can help with extra chores, but he knows from past experience that the answer is “yes,” so he hesitates. I can see his brain remembering how many times he has asked those three words, “Can I help?”, and the answer almost always has been, “Yes! Help me! Take out the garbage. Mop the floor. Take that folded clean laundry upstairs and put it away.”

Time is always a consideration, especially when we’re on our way out the door for ball practice.

“I’ll dust mop the floors when we get back,” my youngest son offers. “And I’ll mow the grass,” his brother adds.

What a relief I feel when my time management has failed, and they come to my rescue by pitching in to help without being asked.

So it has been with our community garden the past few weeks.

All four of the families who are sharing our plot have been on vacations, busy with children home from school and struggling to get to the garden regularly, if at all.

But we’ve been blessed with what one of us describes as our “Garden Angel.” Someone has been seeing us frazzled first-time gardeners trying to keep up with the watering, weeding, raking and picking chores that have gotten away from us during the past few weeks of family travels, summer sports and children’s camps.

The Garden Angel has miraculously stepped in to help without being asked. And wow! We are grateful.

This act of kindness has saved our garden and given us a chance to regroup and return to the manageable routines we developed when the hours of sunlight were at their longest and no one was away on vacations.

Thanks to our Garden Angel, we are returning to a clean and orderly garden. The onion, broccoli and lettuce rows are weeded, raked and ready for fall planting. The tomatoes are plentiful.

We’re stepping over unpacked suitcases at home. But time in the garden is heavenly!



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