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This was another story for [livejournal.com profile] sentinelsecrets; the prompt was "Celebration of life. A party. Why would they have a party? Blair finally defends his dissertation? It's someone's B'day? It's a holiday? Anniversary?"

Sounds like it's right up my alley, doesn't it? But that's the problem. I've written a number of 'celebratory' stories -- four Christmas stories, a wedding story, an anniversary story, a 'best captain' presentation for Simon, and even a Halloween story. What was left?

I have no idea where the garden idea came from, because I don't have, and have never had, a garden. I like the idea of gardening -- being outside, watching those plants grow -- but I know I lack the stick-to-itivity needed. Besides, as a single person, if I was successful, I couldn't eat it all, and I'm not about to tie myself to a hot stove to can and/or preserve the surplus. Not only that, I actively dislike most vegetables -- you couldn't pay me enough to make me eat a tomato. But my brother had a garden one year -- I remember him shaving Ivory soap to put in a hose-end spray bottle to make a natural insect repellent -- and I have several gardening-tip books hanging around. (Purchased on the theory that I'd have a garden 'one of these days'.) But, so far, I have never planted or tended a garden in my life. Strange are the ways of the muse. I've also never participated in a harvest festival, but that seems a lot more participant-friendly.

For those who are interested, all of the recipes named were found by Googling on the 'net -- except for 'Cindy's killer zucchini dish'. My friend described a dish she'd eaten at a cookout, and claims it was the most delicious zucchini she's ever eaten. If you're so inclined, have fun experimenting with it.

My thanks to Arianna, Jess Riley, and Castalie for giving their opinions and support to the story, as well as several helpful beta suggestions. Any remaining mistakes are my own. And special thanks to LKY, who allowed me to reference her beloved Uncle Buck in my story. Blair's explanation of how Uncle Buck used the garden as discipline was paraphrased from LKY's similar explanation in Water Rights, the first story in the series.

As always, the prompt produced very different types of stories from the different authors. If you'd like to compare, check out:

The Bet, (gen), by Tommyboybbi

Treasure Box, (slash), by Snycock

Revisionist History, (gen) by Maaaaa

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