Gardeners like to plan things. Despite the wild appearance of some gardens (ahem), and the tendency of plants to have their own ideas, we’re an orderly lot. We plant things in neat rows, or square foot grids. We weigh and measure, label and stack. We plan our days, and color-code our calendars. We map our vacations and set our alarms.
But the world is full of the unexpected. A broomcorn tassel emerging from a storm-damaged stem. A forgotten plant. Too many cucumbers. A missed turn that leads to an alpaca farm, or a wind farm, in the wilds of Illinois.
Or you might meet Mrs. Rice, the 94-year old proprietor of an enormous “antique mall” in Freeport, Illinois, encountered only because we were waiting out the rain, and hear about an Illinois farm girl going to “business school” in 1934, in the building that she now runs as a flea market-cum-museum.
Take the wrong turn every now and then. You never know where it will lead.