Here’s One For Dad


A few posts ago, I wrote about mowing the lawn and now that it’s Father’s Day, I’d like to revisit it. 

My father is the one who taught me how to mow the lawn.  It was an orange, gas-powered model, and my father taught me how to pull the cord, adjust the throttle, pour the gas, and the all-important mowing pattern.  The idea was to mow the perimeter, and then to continue in smaller and smaller circles until  I reached the middle of the yard.  In reality, it was a rite of passage; a passing of the torch.

My mother and my father had different approaches to gardening.  My mother planted flowers and filled pots and worked at making the yard and home look pretty and appealing.  My father, on the other hand, was the gardener.  He did the digging and turning of soil.  He pruned the trees and shrubs, including the blue hydrangea in the backyard.  This is still a sore point, because it never rebounded.  It may be why I’m hesitant to cut any of my own hydrangeas.  I know there are those that bloom on old wood, and those that bloom on new wood — but for me, there will be no hydrangea pruning, thank you very much.

My father organized and planted the family’s vegetable garden.  It was filled with tomatoes, carrots, pole beans, bush beans and so much more.  What my father didn’t realize is that he planted more than vegetables in that garden.  It was the family garden, our garden, and each one of us participated in the planting and caring of our small home garden.  We weeded and harvested and told Dad of any pests that were getting too comfortable in it.  And although it was small, for us it was “the lower forty.”

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