The More Things Change

As a naturally inquisitive person, sometimes my curiosity gets the best of me. Such was the case today. I have been missing my Mom a lot this week as I start a new job and am working on the garden. Every time I started a new project, I would call Mom on that first day and tell her what I thought about it and how it was going. We would talk and laugh as I told her the details of who I was meeting and what I would be doing.

Mom also had a green thumb, well, green arm actually. She could grow anything. It was pretty amazing. She and Dad always had gardens, both for vegetables and flowers. No matter where we lived, Mom always made it a green paradise with lots of everything that was beautiful and lush. I could use her advice as I dig up and plan for this years gardens. What does best in the sun? Partial shade? What needs a lot of water, or not much at all?

So I looked up the family compound online. Or least the property that used to be ours. And it looked beautiful. The new owners, as of Dec. 2018, had added a few things, cut down a few trees, and changed a few of Mom’s gardens, but it looked great. They added walkways between the houses, built out the outdoor kitchen and extended the workshops. The trees fruit trees that they had were Mom’s favorites. There were a few small changes, but it looked like the place was well loved and enjoyed.

And in that sense, the more things change the more they stay the same. That property meant so much to our family, so many great memories of family times. No doubt the new family that lives there now feels the same. As I looked at the pictures online, I remembered Mom planting those flowers and bushes. I remembered sitting on the front porch drinking morning coffee, talking while Mom smoked. And the many nights of wine and conversation on the back porch. I remembered helping Dad in his workshop filled with every tool imaginable.

Life is short and it is nice to know that the important things have passed on to others who enjoy it just as much.

Hoeing Around

It’s that time of year, that time to start working on the garden. Last year I really couldn’t do it because I had just moved and was still unpacking. By the time I started working in the garden it was almost June and the ground was hard. I ordered the seeds late so they took forever to come in.

This year I am starting on time. It is shortly before the last freeze and I am getting the garden and the ground ready. A few weeks ago I mapped out where the gardens would be. This week it is hoeing and shoveling digging out the gardens. Over the weekend it will be taking stock of the seeds and deciding what I want to grow and what needs to be bought. It will be soaking the seeds in water to get them to sprout, then planting them in starter pots, then out to the garden.

If I work on it a few hours a day, I should have it done and hollowed out in about a week. There will be flowers and vegetables, pretty and yummy side by side.

I was amazed at how easy it was to shovel the dirt under the grass and weeds. So much easier than just a year ago when the soul was hard as a rock. And isn’t that how life is sometimes? When we first try something, it seems so hard. And then later, when the timing is right, it’s so much easier as everything slides into place. A lesson I should and do remember. And sometimes you just need to get good and dirty to remember that. To roll up your sleeves and give yourself to the work that bear the fruits of your labor, and make your dreams come to fruition.

Life is short. And timing is everything. And now is the time for me to have the time of my life.

How the Wonder

As I read the church bulletin, looking at the letters that makes the words and create a sentence, I am extremely thankful that my parents, specifically my mother, instilled within me the value of reading. She would read to us as children, and then as we grew older she made is read out loud to her. And she taught us vocabulary beyond our grade level. Indeed as a 3rd grader I knew 6-8 syllable words, and how to properly use them and in what context.

She would make me read to her out loud as I moved around because I couldn’t sit still. She would never make me sit still as I read to her and she would hold the book for me as I squirmed and read. She would quiz me on vocabulary words that she taught me as well as my school words.

And she would stop and ask me what I liked about the story, and what I didn’t. She would ask me questions to make sure that I understood it. And then we would talk about whatever it is that I had read. She would ask me if I would change anything about it, and what would I change and how would I have the story end?

And I wonder if she had any idea that she was forming a young writer?