STAYING PUT

I’m going to be distracted from my garden for the next few weeks.

So I won’t be posting about my garden.

But I’ve found a few “draft blogs” that aren’t necessarily about gardening.

They are more about my small town life.

So here’s a post written last Christmas

No pictures.

Just thoughts.

 

I’ve lived in the same town

For a little over 42 years now.

In all honesty I’ve never moved around a lot.

After all, being born the daughter of farming parents

And marrying a man whose chosen career is to be

A small town attorney

Means I’m likely to put down roots

Deep roots.

Generally, farmers and attorneys

Don’t move around much.

And that’s been fine with me,

Good actually.

I like being connected

To my friends

To my church

To my community.

I’ve loved the years of watching Elliott and his friends

Grow up

And now raise their own families.

That familiarity

That security.

For me it has worked well.

There are natural pitfalls.

My personality loves tradition

Doing things the same way year after year.

I’ve literally had to fight myself

To be more open to change.

Something I work consciously on

As I grow older.

I DO NOT want to be the person

Who always wants things done the same way.

So today when Andrew spoke about the irony

of the traditions of Christmas

when actually God sending his son

Was the greatest change in history.

I had to smile.

But now I’m learning

The real challenge of staying put.

In the past few weeks I’ve been to more funerals

Than in the past few years.

Friends are preparing for the hard fight

Against gruesome diseases

While others are experiencing devastating

Emergency medical challenges.

If I had moved around the country every few years

My life would be oh so different.

Sure, I would learn of these life altering changes

But from afar.

I wouldn’t be looking into the faces of people

On Christmas morning

Who I know are facing loss.

It’s not that I wouldn’t care.

I would.

But it would be caring on a different level.

My 24-year-old self was certainly not conscious

Of the choice we were making

When we planted ourselves deeply

In this place.

Had I known how difficult this stage of life can be

Would I have made another choice?

I can say with absolute certainty

That for me

I would not.

Yes, the past month has been tough.

For the whole town.

And considering my stage of life.

It’s not going to get easier.

But the friendships that are here.

The years of raising kids together

Working through the various ages and stages

Of adulthood.

Have created friendships

That often don’t even need words

To know how much we care.

We can and do go days

Sometimes weeks

Without seeing each other.

Yet we are here.

Through the years

Through it all

Staying put.

Gail

 

 

 

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FAITH FARM UPDATE

I’m not a vegetable gardener.

Sure I’ve dropped a few in the middle of my flower beds

But I’ve never committed a block of space

Totally to vegetables.

So a few years ago

When my favorite non-profit Loaves & Fishes

Took over a vegetable garden called Faith Farm

I knew I was in over my head.

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This year we were determined to get an early start.

So around the third week of February

We began.

Hundreds of onion starts were planted

Along with carrot seeds.

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We’re working with Michael’s new theory

On growing these cool season veggies.

Last year he noticed that when we planted carrots

Along the edges of the beds

They did much better.

So we planted one end and one edge of

Of each raised bed to onions.

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The remaining end and edge was planted to carrots.

Our suspicion is that the soil along the edge

Warms more quickly than the soil in the middle of the bed.

And results in glorious onions and carrots.

Now, after a few months of growing

We are being rewarded.

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The onions have started maturing

Last Wednesday we pulled 64 lbs.

 

Thinking it would last through 2 days of pantry.

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But within 2 hours of Wednesday’s pantry

They were gone.

Onions are popular.

Carrots will take a little more time.

But if this year’s crop is anything like last year

We’ll have many happy clients

We call this

Gardening for good.

And it is.

Gail

 

 

 

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Filed under Carrots, Community Garden, Onion, Raised Beds, Uncategorized, Vegetables

PUTTERING AROUND

You can tell that spring is winding down.

The temperature is rising slightly.

There are fewer rainy days.

And the big garden jobs are done.

The few pots I have are planted.

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Tulips have been pulled.

And the plants I couldn’t resist

Have nestled into their new home.

Now comes the weekend

When there is time

To putter.

You know

Doing the little things

That you’ve been walking past

And ignoring

Till the time was right.

Digging and thinning the Iris.

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Hanging the sticky traps for those nasty thrip.

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Spreading the crushed egg shells around the Hosta

Hoping to discourage the slugs and snails.

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Planting the first Zinnias in the bare spots.

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Staking, trimming and caging the tomatoes.

It’s going to be a good tomato year

Since I’m all ready seeing blooms and tomatoes

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And finding time to see the world

Through my macro lens

Discovering a pollen laden bee

Inside a Hollyhock bloom.

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I so enjoy puttering.

Gail

P.S.  In my last blog I said that there was not a farmer in my generation.

I stand corrected and apologize.

My sister Ann took delivery on her new tractor this week.

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She’ll use it as she tends her 40 acre pecan grove.

Planted by our father.

Which she inherited

And is improving.

So she can pass it on

To the next generation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Bees, Generations, hollyhocks, Hosta, Nature, spring, Tomato, Uncategorized, Zinnia

ROOTS

I woke up this morning

Thinking about roots

A word that has a double meaning in my life

Since I have deep roots in the prairie

Being the fourth generation to

Live on these plains.

I come from a long line of farmers

My father

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Both grandfathers.

The great grandfathers

Whose story I know

And likely those whose stories I don’t know.

And my mother

Grandmothers

And great grandmothers

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Who farmed along side

Their fathers and husbands.

So I’m genetically connected

To the land.

It’s interesting to me

To see how this genetic predisposition

Translates from generation

To generation.

My great grandfathers

And grandfathers farmed to survive

On the plains .

During the Dust Bowl.

To provide for their large families

Who helped them work the land.

My father’s generation

Would have to be more creative

To continue to farm.

Many taking non farm jobs

To help make the farm work.

Then came my generation.

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No farmers among us.

But in me farming morphed into gardening

Serious gardening.

Rooted in a love of watching things grow.

Knowing that the weather can be

Your greatest friend

Or foe

Now comes Elliott’s generation

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In the span of a few weeks

His graceful old Redbud tree was

Frozen while in full bloom.

His beautiful Hostas were

Shredded by a 20 minute hail storm.

Only to be snowed upon the next week.

Gardening is tough

Even if or especially if you are an urban gardener.

I believe that because gardening is tough

It makes people

Tough

Resilient

Patient

Hopeful

So I’ll go to my garden

To replant dahlias

That didn’t survive the

Frigid blast of early December.

I’ll rejoice in the two purple Poppies

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That will multiply in coming years,

And I’ll thank God

For the deep roots

Of my garden

And my life.

Gail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE GOOD NEWS EASTER EGG HUNT V.5

Family

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Kids

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Gardens

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Friends

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Community

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These are the things I love

Once a year

They all roll into one afternoon.

Five years ago

My friend Kay and I hosted the first

Good News Easter Egg Hunt

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For members of our church

Our neighbors

And extended families.

It quickly became a tradition.

Once again this year

Family…Kids…Gardens…Friends and Community

Came together on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

The crafts this year

Were musical instruments.

Which brings me to my friend Eddie Lou.

It’s always handy to have a music teacher

At your side.

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And that’s where we’ve been.

Side by side for the last forty plus years.

Church choir.

Raising kids

And now grand motherhood.

So it was natural

That the three of us would plan this year’s event.

Kay a master at the grand motherhood thing

And entertaining children.

Eddie Lou & Kay

Eddie Lou using her well honed teaching skills

To help children create

Rain sticks

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And Drums

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And Shakers

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And Tambourines

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More details were worked out by

Kara, Abbey and Tashana.

While Andrew and Katie provided

Bags of candy for all the kids.

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Megan filled 700 Easter eggs,

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And Monica supplied her famous lemon cookies

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The Ladybug release has become the highlight of the afternoon.

With kids not just expecting

To have bugs crawling up their arms.

They actually look forward to it.

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Needless to say

It takes a village

A community

To create memories

To nurture

To simply share

In the joys

Of Life!

Gail

Thank you Beth Young and Jennifer Cole for the use of your marvelous pictures.

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Filed under Butterflies, Children in the Garden, Easter Baskets, Easter Egg Hunt, Garden House, Gardening Friends, Grandchildren, Gratitude, Lady Bugs, Spring Flowering Bulbs, tulips, Uncategorized

A MACRO VIEW

You would think

After years of gardening

There would be nothing new

To look at in my garden.

The climate has changed

Over my gardening lifetime

But not so much that I’m growing

Lots of different things.

The rhythm of the growing season

Unfolds in a similar way

Year after year.

Yet this year I’m looking at it

With new eyes.

Or maybe I should say

A new eye.

It’s a macro lens

For my iPhone.

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My friend Debra got me interested in macro

When she started posting pictures like this

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And this

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And this.

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Pretty amazing stuff.

Now she’s a serious photographer

With all the equipment

And knowledge to accentuate her talent.

I spend my time and money

On gardening equipment and plants.

So I was looking for a simple route

To macro photography.

What I didn’t expect

Was to be so drawn to the small details

Of my garden.

This place I know well

Inch by inch.

After all I crawl around it

Nine month out of the year.

I thought I knew it well.

After a few days

Of seeing it through this little lens

I find I’ve been missing a few details.

Like raindrops

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And ants

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And knowing ladybugs

Up close and personal.

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Buds set to unfurl

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And the flower within the flower

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A usual I find a lesson in all of this.

Even when I know something well

Really well

There are surprises there

If I look

Closely.

Keeping a macro view of the world

Will help me learn even more about it.

Gail

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UNFURLING

It’s no secret that I love spring.

Winter is a good rest time for gardeners.

But really

How much rest do we need.

Sometime in February

When my desk is covered

With gardening catalogs

I begin to roam the frozen back yard.

Hellebores supply me with first hope.

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They normally start showing their charming blooms

Around Valentine’s Day.

Lucky me.

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But generally it’s another month

Before the real action begins.

Unfurling.

Green dots begin to appear

Through the blanket of leaves.

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With each walk down the path.

More and more

Reach for the sun.

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And before I know it

The brown

Has turned to green.

The season begins

I’m home again.

Gail

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