21 April 2008

garden goodness galore.

i've been promising a garden update for a while now...and i'm finally getting around to it! this being my first ever garden, i've been learning a lot as i go...it's been fun to just be outside, digging around in the dirt, watching things grow, experiencing it all. it's so alive out there...i can almost feel the plants growing around me.

it's funny...being out there...in the midst of it all...i always think of my grandma, my dad's mom. she died when i was eleven (i think...i might have been ten...i can't remember) so most of my memories of her are a little fogged by youthful eyes and ears. i remember being out in her garden, helping her water the vegetables. it was huge to my six(ish) year old mind...i'm sure it wasn't really as big as my memory remembers it. she had this big galvanized garbage can that she kept full of water and would use to fill her watering can. i remember splashing water on my shoes as i filled my own bucket and how heavy the full watering bucket was every time i head out to water my own garden.

i didn't really know my grandma that well...obviously...she died when i was fairly young but even while she was alive...for the majority of that time...we didn't live very close to her. she and my grandpa lived in a tiny house in glenallen, alaska which was a fair three/four hour drive from our house in anchorage/wasilla. according to my memory, she was everything a grandmother should be...loving and soft with an ample lap for cuddling. my memories of time with her are foggy at best...they, like many other things, have been bleached by time and experience...thinking through those moments are almost like watching an old 8mm movie clip: they're dark and dingy with holes and scratches throughout. photographs have helped supplement my film strip of memories but still...i wish i could remember better. i wish i could remember what her voice sounded like, what she smelled like. i remember too many details of the house...of the toys and books that were so different and so special...toys and books that my dad had played with/read. her house was a magical place where we spent many easters and thanksgivings and extended summers.

i barely knew her. and yet...i miss her. desperately at times. silly...isn't it? maybe i just miss the opportunities i could have had with her had cancer not stolen her from us. i want to sit down with her...to listen to her stories...she must have had so many good ones! she was a missionary wife and a nurse. a survivor of the depression and a mother to seven children. a fantastic cook and expert book reader. i would ask her so many questions: how did she raise such well-rounded children? how did she manage that brood? what was it like to be a missionary in alaska all those years ago? what? when? where? how? but mostly...i just want to listen. to soak up the history that she lived and experienced. to be a sponge...a fly on the wall of her memories and stories.

i find comfort in the fact that i will be able to ask her those questions one day, to sit with her and listen...but still...i'm missing her today...and everyday when i step outside into my garden. watering can in hand, i remember. i remember and i ache for carefree days, enjoying my grandmother's presence in my life. and i stop...maybe wipe a tear away. i stop in the midst of remembering...and i thank God that my precious son still has both sets of grandparents in his life as well as two great-grandparents (my mom's mother and my dad's dad are still alive). what a gift they are with their experiences and knowledge. i only hope that my children will get to enjoy them for many years to come...

this was supposed to be a post about my garden...and i guess it is. but really...it's more about my experiences while tending my little patch of vegetables. digging in the dirt is therapeutic in ways i never could have imagined.

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