Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Remembering the Planters

On Monday I made a trip to town to buy garden seeds and plants. Last year I didn't get a garden put in because we were caught up in a house remodeling project. Actually, for the past many years I've really been lacking in enthusiasm for gardening. It seemed that the springtime months would get so busy that I just didn't have time for yardwork other than lawn mowing. Through eighth grade our kids all attended a Lutheran dayschool which had sports starting in fifth grade. We played against schools in our Lutheran district, but many of those events were over an hour away, so most Saturdays would be spent driving to and sitting at games. At the time, I thought I enjoyed all that running around, but now, I'm relieved to have those years behind me. Also, our school had lots of tasks for volunteers to do, so I spent time doing that, too. Twenty years were spent focused on that school......that is enough. And I retired from the church ladies group, too. It seemed pointless to go sit at meetings and yack about what we could do next to raise money. I had enough of that! I'm so happy to just stay home most of the time......and there is plenty to do here. Never a dull moment, and if nothing else, I can always find a quiet spot to relax and enjoy my favorite pastime, reading.

Anyway, its with pleasant surprise that I find myself in the mood for gardening. In a shady flower bed area I planted pansies (my favorite), violas, and lobelia. Hopefully, the dogs and cats won't traipse around in there and break off the flowers. My perennials are shooting up now that the days are sunny and warm. Coneflowers, black-eyed susans, bleeding hearts, hostas, asters, phlox. Perennials are great.....they grow themselves!

After hoeing the garden up good, I planted eight tomato plants. Four Early Girl and four Better Boy. Those varieties have been around forever......I remember my mom planting them. Also, I put in four hills of pumpkins for fall decorating. For the past few years I've purchased pumpkins, so hopefully this year I won't have to do that. I planted one hill of cucumber, called "armenian". Its supposed to be crispy and not bitter. We'll see. Also, I put in gladiolas, marigolds and zinnias.

As I hoed and planted and watered, my mind wandered back through the years, to the memories of people who were "planters" of many types. My long-gone great-uncle, who never had the privilege of being a parent, but always had a huge, gorgeous garden. There are lovely lilac bushes in my yard, thanks to him. He had emigrated from Germany along with his parents when he was three years old. When I was a little kid, with big ears, like kids usually have, I heard my mom say that Uncle didn't "believe in miracles". I pondered a long time about that, and wasn't sure what to make of it. He didn't go to church.....maybe he was an atheist.....I don't know. He sure had nice gardens, though.

My grandpa showed me how to plant garden seeds and plants. Flower seeds and tiny, fine seeds (like lettuce) in wide shallow rows. Peas and green bean seeds one by one in deeper rows since they are bigger seeds. The holes for the tomato, cabbage, and pepper plants need to have some water put in them first, then the plant can go in. Press the dirt firmly around them and make a circle around them. There would be our handprints in the dirt. Grampy died when I was nine and I still miss him. He planted not only garden plants, but also love.

May we all take time to remember and appreciate those who have planted seeds of faith, hope, and love in our lives.

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