Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Green (10/22/09)
TITLE: Garden Fresh Memories
By Mary Lou Cook
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With a deep affection, the family called the great grandparents Granny and Granny Slim. Granny with snow white hair always wore a smile. Granny Slim was over six feet tall and very thin. There was James, age six and Dena, age three, both grandchildren had light blond hair. The garden became a special place for the children to share with their great grandparents. The elderly couple taught their great grandchildren how to care for the vegetable plants that grew in the garden.
There was a family rule.....you didn’t work in the garden, you didn’t eat out of the garden. So in the summer evenings all the family would be found working together. The grandfather, the owner of the small farm, and the father, his son-in-law, would take turns rototilling the large garden. Between the many rows of vegetables the cumbersome rototiller would pull its driver along. The machine turned over the dark soil and uprooted the unfailing weeds.
In the far corner of the garden, crawling on hands and knees, Granny and Dena pulled the persistent weeds growing in among the green peppers. With their heads close together, sharing special secrets, the gentle wind would mix Granny’s fine white hair with Dena’s baby blond curls. Down the row of green beans Granny Slim’s wrinkled hands would pull back the thick green leaves so the beans could be found. James’ small hands would pick, dropping a handful of beans at a time into the plastic dishpan by his feet.
The middle-aged grandmother and the young mother would pick a variety of vegetables. When their wicker baskets were full the two women would head toward the little house that sat in front of the garden. In the kitchen they would clean, peel, and chop the fresh vegetables they had picked. With the soup pot full of potatoes, onions, peppers, green beans, okra, and tomatoes simmering slow on the stove, mother and daughter would hurry back to the garden to finish their chores.
When it started to get dark the family would put away the garden tools and gather up the overabundance of vegetables. Together, they would walk to the little house knowing supper would be waiting. At the door the family would be met by the smell of hot vegetable soup. The delicious aroma made the family realize how hungry they were.
Hurrying to get washed up for supper, the family would gather around the kitchen table. A pot of hot vegetable soup with a box of saltines, napkins, spoons, and bowls sat on the table. Before eating the meal the family would bow their heads for the blessings from the garden’s bounty. Surrounded by the darkness of the night the small kitchen seemed to bring them closer together. Around the table the talk and the laughter the family shared would turn the typical garden into something special.
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