Sunday, August 2, 2009 By: Uwharrie Heirlooms

Reaching Out

Sometimes I think that Tom Sawyer may be the wisest person who ever "lived."

I learned a thing or two from Tom, a case in point involves my three children . . . all boys . . . all just like me.

My mom put the curse on me many years ago. You know, the one that goes, "I hope when you grow up your young'uns will be just like you."

Well, thanks mom. Rest in peace. If I was really like this, then you deserve to rest.

My boys are in for a heck of some stormy adulthoods, 'cause I've passed the curse on to them so many times already, it's got to be cloudy for them.

One day after church recently I absently announced to whomever was within earshot that my wife and I had decided that the next time we got married we weren't going to have kids. A lady from the congregation burst out laughing and told me that she thinks she remembers that my parents made the same promise!

My favorite Tom Sawyer story was the one about his chore of whitewashing the fence.

Just to remind you, ol' Tom hated doing that work, but when his friends would stop by he pretended that he was having the most fun of his life, just whitewashing away. Thus, all the friends wanted to have some fun too, so they ended up doing all the whitewashing while Tom stayed over in the shade, resting.

While I do enjoy my time in the garden, sometimes it's hard to spend hours struggling behind the tiller to break up some ground that has had more than a year or two to settle. But, if you've been following my previous blogs, you know that I've had issues with getting my soil prepared, so it's behind the tiller I go.

Apparantly, tilling looks like fun to a portion of my family, namely Daniel, the youngest. I didn't make it look like fun intentionally, I really do enjoy it, as long as I can take frequent breaks.

Daniel came over and begged me to allow him to operate the machine. At almost nine years old, it would be quite a task for him to "manhandle" the Lazy Boy, but I was mowing and helping out (really I was) in the garden at his age, so I figured that there's no time like the present.

I ordered him to put something on his bare feet and told him that he could give it a try.

After showing him how to safely work the tiller I put him on one of the raised beds that hasn't been used for a couple of years, so it's not as tough tilling as the rest of the garden. He really had no problem tilling a row through the twenty-five foot bed, preparing it for six more tomato plants.

Daniel found that planting, mulching and watering can be fun too.

I can't wait until we start putting in his favorite food - broccoli (Take that, George H.W. Bush!). He should enjoy that, and I expect to see him sitting out in the middle of the patch eating it off the stalk one day this fall!

I feel good that there will be hope for Daniel in the garden. Eli may have to be prodded a little, but I'm "optimistic" (see yesterday's post).

Meanwhile, as Daniel turned that soil, Carson and Eli were at their usual daily grind of computer and video games. To be fair about it, though, after Daniel went into the house and bragged to his siblings about his opportunity to run the tiller all by himself, Eli decided it must be fun too, so he rushed out to take his turn.

Carson never moved.

Progress, however, is being made. I'm reaching out to my kids in a new and exciting way.

Now if I can convince them how great the veggies will taste instead of hot dogs and that, no matter what Ronald Reagan said, catsup is not a vegetable!

What would Tom Sawyer do?


Lynne said...

After 20+ years of fighting weeds ( and getting the soil in fantastic shape thanks to years of horse and goat fertilizer, David gave up on the regular garden and went to raised beds. Wow what a difference in the work. Of course it is just two of us so we don't need the larger garden.
If you even need some access to "organics" (horse) just let me know.

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