Things change, go with the flowPublished 10:42pm Tuesday, June 12, 2012
“Hank, I want an organic garden for the grandchildren. I want them to see how it feels to plant seeds and help them grow. I found a man to break the soil, but he never showed up. I know how busy you are with the Senate and all. Just help me find someone to break the soil.” Thus began “The Saga of Faya Rose and Grandchildren Garden.”
I found a man to break the land, and when it was time to begin to plant, I thought I was done with it.
Faya Rose said, “I don’t know anything about garden seeds and. Would you get some plants? And seeds?” I suggested that we go together to get them. I was encouraged to go alone since I knew more about such things. I purchased all kinds of seedlings on a Friday so I had to keep them in the cool until Saturday.
Faya said, “I don’t know anything about planting a garden. Tell me what to do.” I told her she needed to get a hoe or something to dig holes in the soil to place the seedlings. She said, “I never bought garden tools before. Could you get those since you know just what to get?” I purchased a hoe and another tool that had a hoe-like blade on one side and a large two-prong fork on the other. This was early morning on the first Saturday in June.
Faya Rose said, “Could you just show me how to put the plants in the soil?” Finally, we were both doing something for the garden. After walking our usual two miles, we drove the fourth of a mile to the garden spot. I was digging holes as she placed the seedlings in the holes and packed the soil around them. Shortly, she asked to dig the holes while I placed the seedlings because digging the holes seemed easier. So she dug and I planted.
After a while, Faya said, “You keep working. I am going to get the grandchildren so they can participate.” They were at our house so I expected it to take a few minutes. I kept working and waiting. I was beginning to feel a little like this was becoming my garden. Just at that moment the car rolled up with Faya Rose and three of our seven grandchildren. I dug holes as she and the grandchildren placed seedlings in the holes and piled dirt around them. It was a joy seeing the grandchildren joyfully helping plant the garden.
I decided to leave them to their garden. At that moment, one grandchild was ready to go back to the house. Faya decided to take her and a second grandchild back. As she was leaving, she said, “Keep working. I will be right back.” As she was pulling off, the grandchild remaining with me began crying loudly. Ants had bitten her all over her feet. I took off the shoes and tended to her. Still, she wanted to stay with me, but she was through working.
I waited and worked and waited. I had a large container of water to pour some around each seedling. The grandchild turned over the container. I was near her so I was able to save about a fourth of the water. I continued digging holes, putting in seedlings and watering them. I often stopped to hold my granddaughter. I kept waiting for Faya. And waiting. And waiting.
Finally, Faya pulled up in her van and rolled down the window. I could see she had dressed up. She said, “I have to run to a grants award ceremony at Wallace Community College. I will be right back.” I insisted that she take me, the remaining grandchild and the leftover seedlings back to the house and she did. I know Faya meant well on every word she said, but at each interval, it seemed that the circumstances changed to make it my garden.
The next morning, Faya left for Memphis. After walking my two miles, I went to the garden and finished planting and watering the seedlings. I knew it would be the next weekend before Faya could get back to the garden and the seedlings would not live that long.
The following weekend was time to plant the seeds. Around 5:30 a.m., I suggested we go plant the seeds. However, she needed more sleep. A little later, Faya said, “I wish I could help but I have a retreat in Montgomery.” I dug soil and seeded it, covering them shallow enough so they would come up but deep enough so the birds would not dig them up. I was again by myself in their garden.
There are still seeds to plant. I just know Faya Rose and the grandchildren will plant these in their garden. Or is it my garden?
Epilogue – We often mean what we say but sometimes it does not work out the way we said. I have learned that circumstances sometimes change and we have to go with the flow, especially with family.