Dear Mr. Garden Guy,
Do you remember the day I had to hide Momma’s yard tools?
A few years earlier we had finally convinced my then 84 year old mother to stop cutting her own grass. “Convinced” is a nice way of saying my brother took her push mower away for servicing and never brought it back. Over the next couple of years, I took over her yardwork. Momma, not satisfied with my loose interpretation of hedge trimming would redo her bushes wielding the most dangerous looking pair of clippers you ever want to see in the hands of an unsteady octogenarian.
Thoughts of a horrid implement haunted family, friends and neighbors.
So I hid her tools. An assortment of handheld clippers, hoes and rakes made their way to my house. I told you about it Mr. Garden Guy. We both felt sad that an avid gardener could no longer enjoy her work.
Then one day her neighbor pulled me to the side:
“Yo momma been outside cuttin’ them bushes again.” She said in a concerned whisper.
“What?! Bbbut I..I… took all her tools!” I stammered in disbelief.
“Well she was. An’ she had a pair of long, rusty lookin’ clippers. I think they must have been yo daddy’s.” The neighbor’s testimony rang true.
My stepdad had been dead for decades. It never occurred to me that some of
Richard’s tools may still be around. Momma never threw away anything.
It took me a while but finally – on the backporch, under the chaise, in a crate, inside a wooden box – a plethora of ancient handtools. Found and removed.
Miss. Daisy was not pleased.
Today, age is beginning to slow me down. One day someone will take away my tools. And Mr. Garden Guy I’ll miss growing my veggies, canning my pears
and cutting my grass.
Foreseeing such a time, I’ve begun a “memory garden” afghan.
Rows of simple granny squares echo my gardening process. Starting with brown and black squares symbolizing the composted soil. Then seed. More colorful squares – reds, yellows, greens and even purples- flowering and fruiting.
The afghan’s rows repeat like the rhythm of the seasons. Its an ongoing project. Finished only when it is big enough, warm enough to hold all my cherished gardening memories.