Sally says at RevGals: This year Tim and I have planted and nurtured a vegetable garden, and I have just spent the morning preparing vegetables and soups for the freezer, our veggie garden is producing like crazy and it is hard to keep up with, that said it'll be worth it for a little taste of summer in the middle of winter :-). That got me thinking of the things I treasure, memories are often more valuable than possessions. How about you, can you share:
Inspired by Sally's amazing garden, this memories Friday Five has turned out to be all about my grandfather and gardening he loved.
- A treasured memory from childhood? My grandfather (Bigdaddy) was a chemist by training (and a banker by trade, but he was retired by the time I knew him). He was a man of the land and the sea, and he loved his gardens; was always doing things to the soil to make it produce better. He had three gardens...two BIG ones...one at the beach and one at the house in Tallahassee, plus a dedicated tomato garden at the beach. We ate like royalty for sure. And carried home jars and jars of home-canned food, too. (Oh, and his camellias would be a whole other blog post...)
- A teenage memory? I would always ask my grandparents how I could help (they were always doing such hard, hard work. My grandmother (Meme) would say, "no, you're too little" (!)...she said this to everyone, no matter their age or size!! My grandfather would always find something for me to do. Sometimes it was bringing wheelbarrow-loads of seaweed up from the beach (and I mean up, the house and garden are on a 12-foot dune) and rinsing salt water off of them for them to later nourish the garden. One time it was climbing a 20-foot ladder and holding an AC unit in place (outside) while he was inside securing it to the window. I think I was more like 10 when this happened. I thought, "Oh, my God...this is too heavy for me!" But I didn't dare say anything, or drop it. Maybe he knew that I could do more than I thought I could. Hmm!
- A young adult memory? My college roommate, Lori, and I went to the beach one summer during grad school. My grandparents were not well enough to stay at the beach by that time (steep stairs) so they left us there alone. They pointed out the garden and the freezer full of food. I'll never forget getting out a frozen whole chicken and wondering what to do with it? We found an old Rumford Baking Powder cookbook. For chicken, the recipe in that book included something like, "once killed, scald well and remove all feathers." Uhhhhh....I think we mostly ate veggies. There were lots of them available!
- A memory from this summer? I went back to that beach this summer and stayed in my cousin Grace's house, next door to the home my grandparents and parents used to own. The back lot is wild now and the garden plot and compost bed are completely grown up. But I remember.
- A memory you hope to have? One day I hope to live in a place that is not completely shaded, so that I can have a garden of my own. At my last house we had a 6x6 raised bed for tomatoes, and I'll never forget teaching Brandon to eat a yard tomato, fresh from the vine. When I invited him, he said, "oh, no, I don't like tomatoes." The first bite converted him, and I used to look out back and see him and a group of friends all standing around eating warm tomatoes like they were candy. :)
““Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes
What would life be like without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things that money can’t buy
That’s true love and home grown tomatoes.” – Guy Clark