Making memories in garden
BY BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer
Monday, July 16, 2012
7/16/12 at 6:05 AM
Editor's note: Because I Said So is a blog written by five parents and one grandparent. They explore the ins and outs of parenting every day at tulsaworld.com/becauseisaidso
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I never met my maternal grandfather, but later in life I learned we had a lot in common. He was a newspaperman who ran his own newspaper in several small Missouri towns, and he also was a circuit-riding Methodist preacher, riding a horse from small congregation to small congregation in rural areas of that state. Journalism and Christianity have been two dominant themes of my adult life.
And he shared my love for fishing and gardening, two activities that my dad had zero interest in.
When I was in grade school, without any parental encouragement or help, I dug up a small patch in our back yard each spring and planted a variety of vegetables. It was back-breaking work for a young boy. All I got for my sweat and toil in the hard-packed soil was a few scraggly radishes.
Later, as an adult with a growing family in southeast Wisconsin, I had a rotor-tiller and a large garden that produced huge quantities of tomatoes, beans, chard, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and a variety of summer and winter squash. I even grew popcorn.
Any interest my own children might have had in gardening was squelched by being forced by their cruel father to pick beans under a hot sun, and to help can tomatoes.
But my pre-school granddaughters love getting into my Tulsa Brookside garden, searching out anything they can pop instantly into their mouths. Early in the season, before the great heat set in, they picked peas, opened the pods and ate the tender vegetables raw. They also picked cucumbers, beans and spinach, and ate them raw.
I've been careful not to ask my grandkids to help harvest or can the produce from my garden. I'd rather leave them warm memories of summer evenings in Papa's garden.