January 12, 2008
Originally published June 7, 2003
While I was writing on Microsoft Word yesterday and waiting for my phone service to be restored, I saw the BC's fancy sports car pull into the driveway across the street. Quinton popped out of the car and Young Jack came running out to meet him. They jumped up and a down a few times, then came running through the rain over to my house.
Jack is spending the weekend with Quinton at the BC's place. That woman manages to insert herself into every aspect of my life. I watched her go into Jack's house to socialize. I wanted to shoot her.
I bought the Crackerbox for two reasons. First, when I saw the place, I met Jack, so I knew that Quinton could make friends here and have someone to play with. Second, I had a big yard, so I could plant a big garden.
I didn't plant a garden this year. That's the first time since I moved to Effingham County that I haven't played in the dirt growing things, but I gave away almost everything I grew last year. Why do that again? Tending a garden is a lot of work.
I enjoyed it when I grew my own food and fed my family with it. I enjoyed bartering with my neighbors in garden-swaps, where their melons did well but their potatoes sucked, while the deer ate my melons and my potatoes were bountiful. Trade a 5-gallon bucket full of new potatoes for two watermelons and five cantelopes, and that's a good deal when you've already frozen a bushel of new potatoes.
Hell, sometimes it was a trade between squash and zuchinni. I grew a LOT of fine zuchinni. My neighbors grew a LOT of fine squash. We swapped, one for one, and everybody was happy.
I miss that.
I come from a long line of farmers and I really enjoy working with my hands in the dirt. I believe that it is a genetic trait I inherited. Planting a seed and watching it grow makes me feel... useful. But I can't see doing it anymore just to be doing it. I don't want to grow it just to give it away.
When Quinton got ready to leave, Jack stopped in the doorway and said, "You PROMISED!" Quinton said, "Oh, yeah. I forgot. Daddy, look at THIS!"
He dropped his pants and mooned me, with a little side-to-side twitch thrown in for good measure. Then he hoisted his pants and ran off, laughing with his friend, back through the rain and into his mama's car. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
That boy reminds me so much of me that it's scary.
He's one reason that I don't garden anymore. I don't like to grow it and give it away.
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