Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Seeing all the gardens around made me think of my mother today. She was always looking for a way to teach me to work and was not afraid to show the way. When I was 7 or 8 she told me one spring day, "It's time we spaded up the garden."
We took our shovels and spaded up the garden. It took days to get the ground all broken up with our shovels, forks, hoes and rakes. This became one of our annual traditions for a few years. Then when I was about 12 a marvelous person came by for a visit. He was a elderly black man with a team of mules and a wagon with a plow. He offered to break up the ground in our garden plot for a small fee. (Where had this man and his mules been for 4 years??!)
His mules had marvelous feet, too. They must have been descended from Clydesdales.
Anyway, we no longer spaded up the garden. All we had to do was hoe, fork, rake, plant, water, weed, apply pest control (DDT in all likelihood) and pick. My mother was not done even with all that - she canned. ...and canned ... and canned.
Then in rural west Tennessee in the 50's and 60's we went to school for a month and then got out for 6 weeks of "Cotton Picking". Some kids got 6 additional weeks of vacation. Not me, my mother made me a cute little cotton sack when I was 6 and we picked cotton. She amused herself developing my cotton picking prowess until I could climb up on Doug Howell's bob truck and go to his fields when I was 12 or so. Doug would recruit his friends to help him harvest his crop and we actually enjoyed being together and picking his cotton. Thanks Doug.
And thank you Mother. Because of you I really would not know how to live without a job. You taught me that being able to work is a tremendous blessing. I wish you could work by my side again.
Be good to yourselves.