Our mailbox has been filled lately with numerous seed and flower catalogs.
That means it is the time of the year when folks start planting flowers, vegetable gardens and sprucing up their yards from the long winter.
Even though I enjoy the warmer weather, I have never had much enthusiasm for planting flowers and gardens.
One of my last attempts at growing a garden was a few years ago. We spent a Sunday afternoon planting corn, potatoes, carrots and even okra, a Southern favorite of mine, on a spot of land across from our home.
It ended up in a weed patch.
I think my gardening gene took the last one-way train out of town.
It wasn’t that way for my parents. They loved fresh veggies and they always grew some type of garden.
I can remember many summers snapping green beans, shucking corn and helping my mom can tomatoes, all while listening to the pressure cooker whistling Dixie on hot summer afternoon.
Our kitchen had two nice pantries and both were usually filled with canned food items.
When my folks had the kitchen redone in the early 1960s, they installed a Frigidaire Flair stove.
It pulled out from the wall. I ate many meals cooked on that stove growing up in Tulsa.
I remember many times sitting down at the kitchen table for supper. My dad loved wilted lettuce salads. For those who may not know, a wilted lettuce salad is fresh lettuce with hot bacon grease poured over it from an iron skillet for a dressing. He also enjoyed fresh onions and radishes from the garden. He would wash and eat them on the spot.
The first family garden I remember was in the late 1960s. My parents and friends of the family from the First Baptist Church in Tulsa, where we attended Sunday services, put in a big garden on a spot of ground in East Tulsa.
My dad would load the Montgomery Ward rototiller in the back of his 1967 Chevy pickup and I can remember spending many summer evenings at the garden. They grew everything from onions to potatoes to watermelon, cantaloupe, corn, green beans, peas and more food items than the local pantry.
We never went hungry in the Parker house.
In the late 1970s, after my parents bought their 20-acre farm south of Tulsa, they grew a big garden on the old homestead with another couple.
Some years later, my dad bought a DR rototiller. This piece of machinery was as big a Ford Pinto, and powerful, too!
It was a job tending to the garden and keeping the weeds at bay, so some years ago my mom bought two Berkshire hogs to weed out the garden. She and Dad built a movable pen and those hogs would root out the weeds. After a bit, they’d move the pen so the hogs could continue rooting and tooting.
I don’t know where they were supposed to be going, but my mom was fussing at my dad to hurry up. In true fashion, he wasn’t in a hurry, but at the urging of my mom, he got ready and off they went.
When it came to taking care of the farm, Dad never got in too much of hurry.
He was supposed to water the hogs and he didn’t get it done. When my folks returned home, one of the hogs was dead. It got thirsty and died.
I don’t know what happened after that, but I’m sure it wasn’t good, at least for my dad.
I probably won’t be growing a garden this year, but Debbie is wanting me to build her some portable planters for her pretty flowers. I have a stack pallets out back, maybe I will tackle that project.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.