Dr. Suess

"And will you succeed? Yes indeed! Yes indeed! Ninety Eight and Three Quarters guarenteed!"

Friday, April 07, 2006


Pearls and Dreams

It's springtime. Springtime will always bring memories of my step dad, my Daddy. Ok I might as well face it, just about anything will bring up memories of him. He was rather precious to me.
But springtime. He loved to garden.
Where I grew up, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada's, right outside of Yosemite National Park, we had 2 acres. A large part of that 2 acres was our vegetable garden.
It was the responsibility of Daddy and me to make sure it got planted, weeded and harvested. From the first year we lived there, till we moved away when I was in the 8th grade. It was our garden.
When I was little, 1st grade, I didn't quite get all that gardening took. I understood quite a bit about things, and occasionally, my parents assumed I knew things I didn't know ..Which usually lead to trouble.
In the case of gardening, it was no exception.
Dad and I worked hard to work the soil. It hadn't been used as a garden before, so lots of tilling had to be done. We had to till it a couple of times to make sure it was ready to grow the vegetables we were going to plant. Then we had to make the rows. Each row, was slightly different than the other, it would depend on what vegetable was going to go where. Some rows were farther apart than others. Very narrow rows where the radishes, carrots, green onions go, but very wide where the squash, pumpkins, and eggplant goes.
We had the ground tilled, the rows made, then we went in and made individual little 'pockets in the ground. "not necessarily necessary, but just a bit of extra depth" Dad would say, each year. That year, I had no clue what he meant.
Then, we'd walk by each row, and stick a stick at the end of the row. On the stick, was a packet of seeds(empty) with what was going to go into that row so we'd know what we were growing there. I had fun doing that. Daddy held the stick while I pounded the stick into the ground.
Then Dad grabbed the full packets of seeds and put them in his pockets, he started to walk down the rows, but he was trailing the seeds behind him!!! Oh NO! We can't have that! We'll LOOSE THEM ALL!!
Down the squash row, down the onion rows, down the radish rows, carrots and cucumber rows, we get half way down the tomato rows and I burst into tears. Daddy turned around and said "Darling! What's wrong!"
He sees me with my hands full of seeds and I see his eyes about pop out of his head, but his voice stays calm. I cry and cry "I tried to save all your seeds, but my hands are too small!"
My Daddy picked me up and hugged me and decided to explain gardening to me, start to finish.
We took 3 rows, and planted the mishmash of seeds to see what would happen. We called it 'mixed vegetables'. Then, we started over with re - planting the other rows.
Very few of the veggies in the mixed vegetables grew, except the radishes. That became my favorite in the garden. From then on, every year, the radishes were my responsibility. Start to finish. No one was allowed to harvest them but me. It's funny now, but Mom and Dad would serve radishes at the table on a day that I hadn't 'given my permission' and they'd tell me that they'd gone to the store and I'd actually buy that story ! (the things parents will tell kids to keep their smiles on their faces!)
I miss Daddy. I know why I can understand God's love for us though. Daddy did such a thorough job of showing me ... Sometimes God goes in front of us, having planned it all out carefully, and all we have to do is follow in his footsteps, but we're afraid he's not doing it right, that he's dropping something. So we have to help him. So we pick up the seeds he's sowing. We keep picking them up until we're so desperate and we're exhausted we have no choice but to cry out "Abba!My hands are too small!"
And Abba Father will pick us up, hold us in his arms. Then he'll take us, help us replant those mishmash seeds to watch it grow. Then we can see what crop shows up. Somehow, with childlike wonder, we will latch onto that harvest with a passion that will carry us through. It might even become something that is precious to us forever. I wrote a poem a long time ago about this, but blogger is being stubborn today and won't let me post it in format. So, if you'll go back to this post from last Father's Day, you can read the poem.


  1. Yet another beautiful post!

    You've reminded me ... this is the first year we're not having a garden in ... don't know ... over a decade. I'm going to really miss my garden.

    I hope you're feeling better ... let us know how you're doing ...

  2. This post made me teary-eyed. I have memories of gardening with my Dad, too. So many of life's lessons are learned in the garden each summer. My brain just crowds with images; I can barely sort them out.

    Thanks for sending me back there.

  3. I have many years of memories of gardening with my father, he just turned 75 this spring. He has never NOT had a garden. He taught me so much, thanks for taking me back! I think I'll go call him, I live 1300 mi away and reading this made me miss him~silly huh?