I was blessed to be able to do one of my favorite things today. I got up and went to my Mama’s and Daddy’s house to help with the family garden. This is one of those things that make me happy on a lot of levels. It’s nice to know there are things I can do to help my parents, and our family. Everyone wants to feel useful, and this is one thing I can still do that matters. When I was young, my brother, other family members, and I helped in our grandparents’ family gardens. It was a way of life that became the focus of our lives each year from early spring when the garden was plowed into rows for that year’s planting until late summer when the last tomato was picked. Whatever else was going on, life was subject to the schedule that the garden put us on. That schedule depended on the temperature of the ground, weather, rain, drought, and air temperature. Sometimes if the weather fell just right there would be so much of a crop ripe at one time that it took my brother and his wife and kids, me and my husband and kids, and our parents to pick and process at the same time. It was a lot of work, but it was made much lighter with everyone helping; sharing the work, a meal or two, and the laughter.
Today was perfect weather. I had asked Daddy the day before when he was going to plant, and if he wanted to plant in the morning. We agreed on this morning. The art side of me sees this newly plowed garden plot much like a blank canvas. It represents all the potential bounty to come, light chatter to heart to heart talks, and a feeling of security in that we’ve learned to trust God completely with the harvest over the years. Today we planted ten rows of corn beginning next to the row of English Peas, and the row of onions and okra he had already planted. The sun was shining, and there was a cool breeze blowing off and on.
Daddy and I talked about gardening, tractors, my husband and kids, and whatever else came to mind. There were also times of just dropping seeds in the rows and thinking. In those times of quiet I remembered past times in family gardens. Those memories are precious treasures to me. Whether spending the night at Mamaw and Papaw Holley’s to get up in the morning to pick, shell, and process peas to freeze, or walking barefoot behind Papaw Chandler as he plowed with a mule, I was at home in the garden. Whether helping shuck the corn and throwing the shucks over the fence to the cows, or enjoying fresh vegetables for lunch on either grandparents’ dinner table, we made memories that I hope to never lose. I loved those times being with aunts and cousins we didn’t see as often as we shelled peas, and the adults cut corn off the cobs. I’m looking forward to another season of helping my parents, making new memories with my family, and stuffing my treasure chest full.
I sincerely hope that you are able to take advantage of every chance as it presents itself to treasure family. If not, it may be time to make opportunities to do so. Family treasures like this bring a valuable facet to my life, and I believe it will yours, too.
Be blessed my friends.