I recently attended a birthday celebration of my Aunt who turned ninety years old.  She and her husband raised twelve kids on a cotton farm near Slaton, TX.  During the celebration the kids paid tribute to her by reminiscing of their childhood endeavors.  One of the activities remembered was the time spent in the garden working side by side with brothers and sisters and their mom.  The social dynamics of working with brothers and sisters can be trying for most families but when you figure in a family of twelve there are a lot of personalities and a wide spread of ages that have to get along.  I know in my small family there was many a dirt clod thrown, mostly in fun, but at times in frustration and self-defense. 

   One of the statements that caught my attention was that my aunt taught her kids the importance of conserving the natural resources in the garden to produce food for their table.  I remember their garden from childhood visits and it was like a small field.  They were taught to work side by side and get over any spats that were going on.  That got me thinking, we need more gardens.

   Thinking back when gardens were a normal way of life, families worked together to grow vegetables.  There was no sitting around the house and playing video games.  I remember fighting with my brother and sister and getting sent to weed the garden. The work was hard but in the end the reward was tasty.  Watching the past elections I wonder what it would have been like if Donald and Hillary got sent to the garden for not playing nice. 

   Seeing the protest on television, in my opinion, so many of the protestors seem out of out of touch with common sense.  They expect things to be handed to them and don’t appreciate the work it takes to produce the food they eat.  Actually being in the garden tilling the soil, planting the seed, nurturing the crop and picking the vegetables, you get to know the gratification of knowing you were a part of the process. 

   Even in the garden, the soil has to be taken care of to sustain a productive garden.  The soil of our country has to be treated with care so it can sustain the people of the world.  Like my aunt teaching her kids the need for conserving our resources, we all have a responsibility to protect our natural resources and teach the next generation. 

   With the encroachment of the urban sprawl on the surrounding rural areas of the cities, gardening has become a lost pastime.  Our way of life has changed so much it is easier to go to the grocery store and buy the vegetables rather than spend time in the garden.  I am guilty also.  We are lucky here in Rowena to have two families that have large gardens and sell the vegetables at roadside stands.  The ironic thing is the brother and sister come from a family of eight and each grew up gardening at home.  Then the sister married her husband who grew up in a family that raised a huge garden.

   The world might be a little better place if we all had a garden in our backyards to relieve the stress of our everyday toils. Taking the frustrations out on a weed with a hoe rather than family, experiencing the calming effect of smelling the fresh tilled soil and taking time to remember to thank God for His blessings.  So till next time, keep your garden rows, “On the Level”.

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