By Otis Griffin
Although it may seem like centuries ago it hasn’t been that long that folks would work hard and grow their own vegetables in an area called a garden. Tranquility, peacefulness, sereneness are experienced while working by your lonesome offering the time to meditate and set your thoughts straight.
Observing the fruitfulness as the vegetation takes hold and climbs out of earth to develop. Can your remember how one day it may be so dusty your eyelids could barely focus and the sun is bearing down as it’s barely possible to take a shallow breath without boiling your innards?
On the other hand as you dreamily recollect after a summer storm there was no choice but to traipse to the plot and face the hot humid fog that would set in hovering closely to the sod. Why, city slickers might ask?
Simple for country folks, to straighten the plants, re-stick the canes holding the drooping English peas, vines weighted down and lying in the water filled soggy middles. Probably the most important task was to take my dented water bucket and salvage what damaged vegetables had fallen and not waste any of our precious (gold to us) commodities.
Venture back in time for hostilities. Bugs, insects, worms and bores caused many a country redneck to experience a slight twitching nervous breakdown. Years later we recalled the incident following a steamy shower as I had completed my tour of the saturated garden. Although very young, about the size of a bo’ weevil, I bounced in the suffocating kitchen and proudly reported, “Momma, there are some little reddish like bugs playing on top of ’em ’taters”. Now that shook the apple tree. Momma glared at me like I had just th’owed a brick bat through the side stained glass at our house of worship. I got ‘skeered’ as I thought I had done something wrong. Momma was infuriated (a three dollar word for mad).
Vigorously she ground her hands in her famous thin apron, ridding the warm cooking crumbs that sprinkled and bounced on the floor.
She took a couple of steps to the kitchen window and yanked back the dingy curtain. Actually the make shift curtains were Martha White flour sacks with edged green stitching accomplished at one of Mrs. Leek’s international quilting parties.
The cloth was so thin you could see through and I think the only purpose they served was to keep the flies, ‘skeeters’ and bugs inside out of the weather ’cause the sun came shining right on through.
Momma hit the back door running and ‘pert nigh’ in a fast dog trot we reached (I stayed out of the way) the garden gate where Momma stopped. We cut canes at the Big Creek canal about a mile from Tootsie’s store to stick English peas and always had a few extra. Momma reached down, grabbed one and cracked it over her leg about four feet long. I was eye balling this pretty closely. I ain’t done nuthin’ wrong I think. Was she mad ’cause I told her? She took off down through the ’tater vines whooping ’em vines soft, but hard letting ’em ’tater bugs know who is boss. I stayed back a ways.
We toured the entire crop, continuously switching back and forth, up and down.
When we got back to the gate a glow of satisfaction traced Momma’s face as she replied, “I think I got rid of most.” All the while she was hanging onto the broken cane. However I could sympathize with the bugs. Neatly she stood the cane up as her prize and relayed to me, “Bo, when Daddy gets home he’s gonna have to do some dustin’.” This meant either arsenic or ‘seven dust’. I’m not saying what is right or wrong, but there is a lot work and trouble just to be able to eat in our wonderful South.
Did Adam Chasing Eve In A Garden Cause All This Work?…GLORY!
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