Mother had the most beautiful garden in our small part of the world. On the way to church the parishioners had to pass by our house, unless they were coming from the opposite direction! Therefore, Mother’s garden was on exhibit every Sunday and every Wednesday late afternoon.
She loved working in her garden and I thought it was the prettiest I had ever seen. I remember eating english peas off the vine. The garden was our source of food for the summer as well as the winter months to come. There were pea picking and shelling parties with ice tea. Mother made it seem fun to shell peas for hours on end.
There was a canning facility in the small town three miles from our farm. Mother went there to learn how to can with a pressure cooker. Those days were before refrigeration in our part of the world.
Daddy had the peanut, watermelon, cantaloupe garden above Mother’s.
Flowers always were at the end of the rows. Zinnias I remember and the sunflowers at the back. Later there were daylillies and irises. Mother’s thumb was certainly green.
The house was neat and small however the yard was at least 5 acres and it looked like a park. Mother and Daddy were a team and took great pride in keeping their yard almost to perfection. I do not know how they did all the work at home and work as well.
Mother was a nurse and worked the 3-11 shift at the hospital for a long time. Later she worked the 11-7, graveyard shift along with my Daddy’s sister. They rode together the 8 miles from the country to the small hospital. Mother retired at my age…73. I think she really missed being there. I think my brother had something to do with her retiring because one night she had a flat and was walking along the highway at night when one of the police officers from the small town picked her up. He told my brother and my brother said it was to dangerous for her to continue. By this time, my aunt had died so she was traveling alone.
Those days come and go in my memory. Most days I try to forget because I find it to painful to remember. I moved away and was not there for Sunday dinners and everyday life. I had the Disney land part. Go home, have great food, visit for perhaps a week at the most and back to the big city. I did not know what they did in the morning; at noon; in between; and at night. Did they talk about me? Did they wish I would come to see them more? What was it like after I left. I wish I knew.
I have a very small garden…very small. I said I was going to try as a tribute to my parents. I am not nearly as strong as they were and I have no one to talk with or to help me with the chores. However, I know that I can bring more beauty to my plot of land here in the city if I just try. My Mother and Daddy would want me to do that…be a good steward of the land while I have the privilege of doing so.
We can never own the land. It is not ours. We can only care for it while we are here.
My sister and I still have the land where we grew up. We seldom go any more. The memories are still to strong and the guilt is too much for me. I think you can go home again. I also think my parents were proud that I had made a life away from all family but at what cost?