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From her column Around the Corner

around-the-corner-07-14-1I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the “good ole summertime” is here, and we get to celebrate Independence Day. The bad news: it is still five months until the mid-term elections will be history.

Summer is the time for baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and picnics. It is also the time for ants and mosquitoes, hot weather, and prayers for rain. It’s the season for children to enjoy being out of school—usually about two weeks before they declare their boredom.

Also, summer is the time when some of us golden-agers reflect on the good old days. More than half of our nation’s population now live in cities. Since the grass looks greener in the country, farms may look attractive. A real estate commercial features two older persons, saying, “We’ve been dreaming of finding a small acreage!” Hmmm…not sure that was truthful!

We dreamers likely will never go to live on a farm. Personally, the chores which are required (i.e., milking the cows, churning the milk to make butter and buttermilk, planting seeds for the garden, etc.), do not appeal to me. Being basically lazy, I am delighted to let others perform these chores and do the farming. I’ll just enjoy going to the grocery store.

A few years back, I noticed a gardening magazine at the check-out counter in the grocery store—right next to the picture of the lady with 3 heads, and the dinosaur who has been living in a cave with the real Elvis for the past century! I couldn’t resist glancing through the magazine while waiting in line. In the middle of the publication, placed rather inauspiciously between the staples, was a famous seed catalog. The publishers should be prosecuted for false advertising! The impression was that after you throw out their seed, you had better jump back before a stalk of corn attacks you.

Don’t fall for it. Seed catalogs are a cruel form of science fiction. The pictures of beautiful, perfectly-shaped fruits and vegetables were posed for by professional plant models earning $100/hour, or whatever the economy will bear. Ever notice those photos never include life-sized weeds, large blisters on your hands, and weird-shaped cucumbers?

Such publications state the vast amounts of money your family will save on the food budget using their seeds. That is a lot of bunk. I tried, thinking that saving money is a good thing. However, it would have been far more economical to purchase fresh fruits and veggies. We bought so much fertilizer, the garden ate better than we did—and our water bill rivaled the national debt. Simply stated, it didn’t work out. The weeds were larger than we were! We did the math and our gnarly little cucumbers cost us $5.00 each!

Gardening, obviously, is not one of my gifts. It is easier and much less expensive to let someone else do the work. After my last fiasco, I just planted some of those ugly, giant sunflowers, which hid my failed gardening attempt. Wish I had taken a selfie with the gigantic sunflowers—well, for posterity.

My neighbor had a great garden. He looked at mine, leaned over the fence and sympathized, saying, “Well, we all have a tough row to hoe sometimes.” To his credit, he shared his great tomatoes, beans, and corn with us. For me, it is more fun to celebrate with store-bought fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables and fruit, or those shared by a neighbor.

However, the good old summertime is here, and I refuse to allow the disingenuous representations of greedy seed sales professionals to dampen my enthusiasm for the season. It is a great time of year. We can celebrate our freedom by planting a garden…uh, or not.

Jesus, who often shared his gardening expertise, said, “a grain of wheat remains only one seed, unless it falls into the ground and dies... if it dies, it bears a rich harvest” (John 12:24, my paraphrase).

Justine Knight was raised in a parsonage and married to a Nazarene minister for more than 50 years.

Around the Corner

by Justine Knight

 Summer Selfies

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the “good ole summertime” is here, and we get to celebrate Independence Day. The bad news: it is still five months until the mid-term elections will be history.

 Summer is the time for baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and picnics. It is also the time for ants and mosquitoes, hot weather, and prayers for rain. It’s the season for children to enjoy being out of school—usually about two weeks before they declare their boredom.

 Also, summer is the time when some of us golden-agers reflect on the good old days. More than half of our nation’s population now live in cities. Since the grass looks greener in the country, farms may look attractive. A real estate commercial features two older persons, saying, “We’ve been dreaming of finding a small acreage!” Hmmm…not sure that was truthful!

 We dreamers likely will never go to live on a farm. Personally, the chores which are required (i.e., milking the cows, churning the milk to make butter and buttermilk, planting seeds for the garden, etc.), do not appeal to me. Being basically lazy, I am delighted to let others perform these chores and do the farming. I’ll just enjoy going to the grocery store.

 A few years back, I noticed a gardening magazine at the check-out counter in the grocery store—right next to the picture of the lady with 3 heads, and the dinosaur who has been living in a cave with the real Elvis for the past century! I couldn’t resist glancing through the magazine while waiting in line. In the middle of the publication, placed rather inauspiciously between the staples, was a famous seed catalog. The publishers should be prosecuted for false advertising! The impression was that after you throw out their seed, you had better jump back before a stalk of corn attacks you.

 Don’t fall for it. Seed catalogs are a cruel form of science fiction. The pictures of beautiful, perfectly-shaped fruits and vegetables were posed for by professional plant models earning $100/hour, or whatever the economy will bear. Ever notice those photos never include life-sized weeds, large blisters on your hands, and weird-shaped cucumbers?

 Such publications state the vast amounts of money your family will save on the food budget using their seeds. That is a lot of bunk. I tried, thinking that saving money is a good thing. However, it would have been far more economical to purchase fresh fruits and veggies. We bought so much fertilizer, the garden ate better than we did—and our water bill rivaled the national debt. Simply stated, it didn’t work out. The weeds were larger than we were! We did the math and our gnarly little cucumbers cost us $5.00 each!

 Gardening, obviously, is not one of my gifts. It is easier and much less expensive to let someone else do the work. After my last fiasco, I just planted some of those ugly, giant sunflowers, which hid my failed gardening attempt. Wish I had taken a selfie with the gigantic sunflowers—well, for posterity.

 My neighbor had a great garden. He looked at mine, leaned over the fence and sympathized, saying, “Well, we all have a tough row to hoe sometimes.” To his credit, he shared his great tomatoes, beans, and corn with us. For me, it is more fun to celebrate with store-bought fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables and fruit, or those shared by a neighbor.

 However, the good old summertime is here, and I refuse to allow the disingenuous representations of greedy seed sales professionals to dampen my enthusiasm for the season. It is a great time of year. We can celebrate our freedom by planting a garden…uh, or not.

 Jesus, who often shared his gardening expertise, said, “a grain of wheat remains only one seed, unless it falls into the ground and dies... if it dies, it bears a rich harvest” (John 12:24, my paraphrase).

 Justine Knight was raised in a parsonage and married to a Nazarene minister for more than 50 years.

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