Pages Navigation Menu

Growing Boys and Vegetables

It’s About Vegetables and So Much More

bean two

During our first summer living in the country eight miles from town, we seeded a small garden. Corn, one row of beans, and two jalapeno pepper plants were all that survived to suffer through the heat and wind of a Texas June.  One morning I decided the whole family should be involved  in the gardening effort. Turning off the TV and moving past the protests, everyone shuffled outside into a beautiful morning that greeted us with a light breeze. Always work the garden early in the morning. Why? Because that’s when my grandmother worked her garden, before the heat of the day. The instructions were to pull ONLY weeds.

The rows were muddy from watering the day before followed by a short rainfall in the middle of the night. My husband used a hoe, but the boys and I got personal with those weeds. I was bombarded with a zillion “Is this a weed?” The task at hand was soon long forgotten and I heard, “Mom, take off your shoes. The mud feels funny on your toes.”

What began as a chore ended in one son sinking to his knees and the other trying to pull him out. Giggles filled the garden as they hunted a lost shoe. Muddy legs, toes and fingers and the time spent with our two boys reminded me of long summer days and stormy nights in Lockney, Texas with my grandparents.

An endless blue sky, rows of leafy green bent, heavy with bloated bean pods, bushel baskets of corn and okra, and a supper table piled high with home-grown delights. My grandmother planted a huge garden.  I wish I could go back to that shady spot under the towering elm trees where she’d plop a tub of black-eyed peas between us, spread a newspaper across my lap, and talk my ear off until supper time. If I could see her again, I’d tell her what those days meant to me. I hope she knew. It’s the simple times in life that remain in your heart forever.

How long has it been since you felt the mud squish up between your toes?

spring 205.2