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My grandmother has told me stories of when I was five or six years old. I would collect bits and pieces of nature and make structures out of them, each with their own shape and purpose. I would carefully search for just the right elements, picking flowers, rocks and twigs in exacting colors. These would be arranged in a certain order, all the while I would be conversing with them and pausing as if they were responding back. After meticulously arranged my collected items they would then become one single entity for what ever purpose that my vast and vivid imagination had envisioned.

My parents did not garden. In fact, my mother is renowned for her black thumb. It seems that even if she thinks to get a houseplant, they shrivel and die. On the other hand, my grandparents grew plants; Grampy gardened, while Gram raised houseplants.

Grampy used organic practices, in the sense that he just did not fertilize and or use pesticides. Growing corn, lettuces, tomatoes and cabbages was his forte. As always, anything home grown is amazing. one meal in particular when I was in my early teens. My grandparents  and I had taken their camper to the Fryeburge Fair

Fryeburge Fair in Maine. We were having lunch comprised of sandwiches made with lettuce from their garden. Cutting mine in a diagonal, of course, because that is how you are suppose to eat a sandwich! I picked up one half, as I took a bite and casually glanced at the other half. That  is when I saw them with their six legs and nasty bright green selves; APHIDS! I did not throw up, but really wanted to and I spit out the remains of my bite. To this day, I always open my sandwiches and inspect them before eating. Thank you Grammy and Grampy for being the cause of one of my idiosyncrasies! My crazy grandparents, on the other hand,  just kept eating theirs. No thank you, not unless I’m starving and even then, you would need an awful lot of those buggers to make a meal. I would rather eat what the aphids are eating! Well, looking on the bright side, thank you Grampy for not using poisons on your garden, but you could have rinsed them off a little better!

aphidsWhen we moved back to Salisbury (well back for me, since it’s my hometown) I planted a garden. My husband, whom I call The Fireman when he annoys me, agreed to a small garden near the neighbor’s backward fence (you know, they put it up backwards so that it looks like it’s ours). I said thank you and made it much bigger than he thought. So sorry that my idea of a garden and The Fireman’s idea of a garden do not match!

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