Appreciating Nature--My Way!

I am not ashamed to admit that I hate gardening. Some of my best friends cannot understand why. A few have tried to convert me by giving me home grown vegetables, stems of roses and fresh herbs saying "See what you can get out of your own back yard?"

"Not for me," says I emphatically. "I’ll get mine from the grocery store."

I think my aversion to gardening goes back to the 40"s when our national leaders encouraged us to plant victory gardens. I could never understand how our growing a few vegetables could help win the war, but of course, as a mere child, I did not understand a lot of things.

My parents, every bit as patriotic as our neighbors, dutifully dug up a small patch of ground in our back yard. My father planted lettuce, a few tomato plants, some cucumbers and carrots. We children were to pull weeds (that we often could not distinguish from the plants) and water when necessary. My bubbie, born and raised in an urban setting, just watched through the window and shook her head.

I must admit, I eagerly anticipated the arrival of the fruits of our labors. Unfortunately, when those fruits--or rather vegetables-- were finally ready to pick, there wasn’t much there. The rabbits had had a field day with our lettuce and carrots. Our cucumbers were about the size of my middle finger. Only the tomatoes, though tiny, were actually edible. I think we consumed our entire yield at one meal.

In addition to those memories, I am acutely aware that people who garden often come away with dirt under their fingernails, a sore back, irritated knees and a painful sunburn. Those afflictions won’t ever happen to me, I figure, if I do as Bubbie did and enjoy the wonders of nature from inside my house.

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