Ms Mary, How Does Your Garden Grow?
by Freda Douglas
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Mary had risen, as was her habit, before either John, her husband of twenty-four years, or the children Danny  and Elisa . She poured her coffee, went to the breakfast nook, took her Bible, opened it to the page where she had left it marked from yesterday and began to read. After she finished her devotions, the time had come to rouse her family, get breakfast, and get the various activities for the day started.
After the family had eaten their breakfast, Mary saw to it the kids had lunch money, knapsacks and homework, and turned around, gave her husband a kiss and, after he closed the screen door, she stood quietly, deciding what she would do today. It didn’t take long, after looking out the kitchen window and seeing what a gorgeous day God had given her to enjoy, that she decided what to do. She would do the dishes, make the beds, put on her outside garb, and work in the garden. Hadn’t she waited all through
the wet, cloudy spring to do just that?
She sped through her inside chores and was soon in the garage, organizing her gardening tools, humming as she worked.
As she raked the garden plot, she drew a diagram to show where the flower seeds she had bought at Mitchell’s hardware store last week when she was shopping, would go. She made sure to leave space on her diagram for the tomato plants she would plant when all danger of frost was passed.
She worked a little longer until she noticed the sun was directly over her, and she thought of lunch. Maybe she’d get lunch. On the other hand, she decided to call Beatrice, an elderly shut-in from her church, and invite her to lunch.
Mary took her gardening gloves off, brushed her jeans off, and headed for the house, where she picked up phone and called Beatrice.
“Hello, Beatrice. This is Mary. How are you?”
“Why, Mary, how nice of you to call. I’m fine, but how are you.”
“I was just outside working in my garden, and noticed it was time for lunch, and I was wondering, if I brought lunch over to your house if you would like company?”
“I would like that. Don’t bring any beverage. I just made a pitcher of fresh lemonade,”
“That sounds wonderful, Beatrice, I’ll see you in about half hour or so”.
After hanging up the phone, Mary burst into song ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’, Oh, it made her feel good when she made an unexpected gesture like that.
She rushed upstairs, chucked her garden clothes, donned a pretty floral dress of lavender and yellow flowers, ran a comb through her hair and put a dash of lipstick on her mouth. Then she headed downstairs to fix lunch of ham sandwiches and cut up cantaloupe. She put them in her picnic basket with a pint jar of homemade bread and butter pickles and headed out the door.
As she entered Beatrice’s tidy little home, the first thing Beatrice said “Ms Mary, how does your garden grow?” motioning to her lavender and yellow dress.
“Funny you should say that, Beatrice. Just this morning, the beautiful sun sent me out to get my garden ready for planting.”
As they were talking and had eaten their casual lunch. Mary said, "Beatrice, I was wondering. I don't see you at church much any more. Would you like to tell me why?"
Beatrice's eyes filled with tears, which she hastily wiped away. "I miss church, but I don't drive any longer and even sold my car."
Mary was shocked. She had no idea. "That is a shame. Would you like John and me and the kids to pick you up. It's not out of our way?"
Beatrice turned her head toward Mary. "If you're sure it won't be out of your way, than I’d like that very much."
As Mary turned to go, picnic basket in her hand, "We'll see you on Sunday about 10:00 AM" as she kissed her friend and turned to go.
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