Sunday, May 26, 2013

Gardening and Reminiscing

The time is finally here to indulge in one of my great loves -- gardening! I think I have my grandfathers and father to thank for that love - they are  the ones I observed, assisted and learned from.

When I was a little girl, my summers were spent gardening with my maternal grandfather, Wendell, and farming the potato fields that my father and his father owned.

I loved picking fresh raspberries, juicy blackberries and eating as many tart orchard apples as my belly could withstand. Watching the flower gardens transform from seeds and bulbs to the most colorful patch of land you ever saw. God blessed my grandfather with a green thumb and he had the prettiest and most well maintained yard in the neighborhood - the endless compliments from friends and neighbors proved it! He meticulously kept track of temperatures, weather conditions, and the roles they played in  that years' growing season,  the progress of his plantings, how many tomatoes he ended up reaping and what color tulips he had carefully selected- all this invaluable information was carefully noted in a small, brown pocket- sized book, that grew more tattered as the season progressed.

When I think of the potato farm, I can hear the sounds of machinery, feel the texture of the soil and the scents of the air. We loved playing around the farm with our dogs Jasper, a big, black Newfoundland and Rex, a small, older mix breed. We  absolutely loved helping my dad and grampy (we called him "Bunky") turn the soil, , pick rocks and plant the seed, watching them work on the equipment, ready the potato house and, sometimes, we'd get to  ride along in the old farm trucks. My favorite was an old, rusty mint green colored International.  She sure didn't speed along very fast but the steering wheel was big and there was LOTS of room in the cab! My favorite tractor was “Big ‘Ol  Betsy – a.k.a  “Betsy”

My grampy Wendell passed away when I was 12 and my father passed away 10 years ago. My "Bunky" is still alive and well but the farming days are long gone and he is just enjoying retirement.

I adored these activities as a child - didn't appreciate them as a teenager - now as an adult, I would give my heart and soul to be able to tromp through the garden and dig in the dirt with all of them one more time.

This hung on the wall at my grampy Wendell's house and it's always been one of my favorites.