Wednesday, April 23, 2003

I had a pretty good time as a kid. We lived in a few different places early on cause of being AF brats, but for the most part, we had the run of several hundred acres of fields, woods, and pastures which became our playground.

My grandmother grew a huge garden every year and we were allowed to forage for our daily snacks if we wanted to. Many days I'd just take the salt box outside with me and pick a tomato or two, wipe the dust off with my shirt, and eat that gift from God right there on the spot. Sometimes I'd have a couple of carrots or some early sweet peas to round out my snack.

I also grew a big garden up until a few years ago.(This is one thing southern belles are good at) After the kids grew up and went their own ways, I began to plant less and less because I'd end up throwing away my summer's labor every spring when it hadn't been eaten during the winter. When they were all at home, we never purchased a can of vegetables because I'd can or freeze everything we needed. I even made and canned a delicious veggie soup that was some fine eatin on cold winter days.

I had a boss once who told me that growing a garden and preserving the food was a waste because I could purchase the veggies if I'd just consider the time I put into my work. (like I was gonna get paid a dime for anything I did outside of the office?) I thought about this and came to a few conclusions. This was a man

1. who'd never bought groceries in his life.
2. who was almost one generation behind me and had never had a hungry day.
3. who thought that everything he would do in life would have a monetary worth.
4. who had a rude awakening coming and was gonna have a long row to hoe.

And the value of the garden for me? Money saved at the grocery that I could spend on frivolous things such as the utility bills, clothing for my children and medicines when they needed them, and vegetables that actually had nutritional value. And most important was probably my sanity, cause weed whacking with a hoe can sure get rid of loads of frustration and anger.

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