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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Share a Talent

After the hair cutting incident last week, and a few other choice experiences I won't mention, I am looking forward to another fun filled week. We got part of our yard looking acceptable again. I had a great teaching moment with the twins about how to dig a hole, break up flower roots and plant a flower in the ground properly. Ironically my neighbor Julia stopped by that night and asked me to share the talent of "my green thumb" with the women in our church group. I laughed and said, "Oh, it's hard. You dig a hole and put the thing in the ground, give it some water, and that's that's."  After agreeing to share my knowledge I got to thinking how I even knew about the proper planting of petunias, and other things.

It brought me back to a memory I have as a young, 10-year-old girl following my Dad around Marvin's Gardens and learning what kinds of flowers were what, where they grew best and he even let me pick colors and types that would go in our yard. I also remember visiting his cousin Bob and Uncle June and seeing their beautiful yards. I remember how excited my mom was when Bob would generously share his veggies. It's no wonder I always had an amazing yard growing up because these men, along with my great-grandma Daisy passed their knowledge to my Dad, and he, most likely inadvertently, passed it to me.

It wasn't until Andy & I bought our first house that I had hands on experience in dirt. Dad was great to let us help with some things, but yard work was his territory. The first year in our first house we really set to working our land. We called our yard Babylon because it had been years since anyone had done anything to it. We weeded and planted and then it was ready to show off. My parents came over, and just like when I was little and my Dad would walk around the yard with me and my mom to show us the progress, he and I walked around my yard. He advised me on what types of plants I had and we even swapped a few ground covers, lilies and poppies. Then we came to a tall grassy plant. He asked me what it was and I didn't know. My mom inspected it further to determine that it was in fact a large weed. We immediately pulled it and haven't spoken of it since.

When it was time to move to our current house we knew we needed a backyard that had a veggie garden spot. We both felt it was our duty to be self-sufficient and to teach our children where food comes from and a bit about responsibility. So basically my "green thumb" came from some encouragement early on and some trial and error. I know that you don't need to plant 11 tomato plants, although I did learn a new talent that year--I learned to bottle them. I know, don't laugh high school friends. I can't make Jiffy Pop, but I can bottle tomatoes and dehydrate carrots. I have learned that my husband is a great gardener and will do whatever I ask if he can just find some peace and quiet while pulling weeds. Before this weekend I never realized that my garden was anything special, other than a quiet, late summer night retreat, but I guess it really is a talent to grow stuff and find effective ways to do it.

So I will grow my talent (yep, I'm a word nerd and the pun was intended) this year and try to propagate my own seeds from this year's crop. Then next year I will have a new generation of plant all my own. I just want to see if I can. 

What's your talent?

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