Anthony & Denise

Anthony & Denise

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gardening and life

Please look over me it's late and this was suppose to go on the blog Musing. Oops

I often write in some pretty weird terms that some would read while others seem to connect, I talk pretty much the same way except more topics rather than to keep up with just one. I can't help but see life as a whole and the pieces that fit together to form a life. Or, everyone and everything is connected in some way. But this is just how I see my garden, being that it is spring time. Since I'm actually writing notes I'll try and keep on topic.

I turned the soil up in the gardens the other day in preparation to ready the ground for when planting time comes. Some of it was ready, some wasn't, so I worked on what was ready to be worked on. Over the course of winter I burnt limbs that had fallen, paper stuff, leaves, and grasses that I really didn't want. Some areas that needed "fluffing" I left the leaves to rot what they would and mold and they would remain the to be plowed under and the remnants blended in with the soil. Anything that the animals wouldn't consume got tossed there too. I burnt a few times at some of the tree stumps in an attempt to slowly work them away.

But finally just a few days ago the signs were ready to plant root crops. Me and Megan planted about 45 Onions sets, finished one row on one side of the garlic and a complete row on the other. I gave the rest to Mark and Bobbie. Mark looked into the bag and asked how many I was giving them, the bag had at least twice what we had planted. I told him all of them, that we had what we wanted. Then at the end of the Garlic me and Megan planted Cabbage. Yea I know, it's not a root crop and the signs weren't right to even transplant, but we done it anyway.

The next day I spread out mulch around the Onions and Cabbage and checked the straw around the Garlic. Throughout the last two gardens and even unto now we have tossed rocks out of the garden. The ground here is rocky in parts and this is the third year it has been there, one year I wasn't allowed to mess much with it during the chemo and radiation treatments. Tossing rocks is an ongoing thing and if God allows will probably be ongoing for a few more years. Who knows when we will have the ground free of enough rocks to call it free enough. The rocks are tossed and sometimes loaded onto a small lawn trailer pulled by our Lawn Mower (some call them lawn tractors) and the dumped in the area in small loads where I created a flat spot to park the two farm trucks. I have a motto. Every time I walk through the garden I try and remember to at least throw two rocks out.

Soon, as the signs come in and after Easter, we will plant this garden. Like a child who awaits Christmas present opening time, I watch. I will have to turn the soil, disc and smooth it down. We have the best of seeds and will also have some healthy plants, for those that are transplanted. We will try and space the rows just right and straight. Not too much as to waste and yet not too small as to crowd and we need to be able to walk into the rows to yet further work the soil and control the weeds. The seeds will be planted just at the right depth, according to it's needs. If they thirst and the rains don't come, then we will water them. If they are hungry we will feed them. And all the while, tossing out rocks or stones. We hope the bees come and not the pests and will plant things that help rid the pests and attract the bees and birds.

The garden will get much of my attention and adding a garden will demand more, as I try and grow enough for Charlie since he is now sick. If my oldest daughter and grandkids decide to put one out I will work the ground for them as well, plus teach them how to care for it. For gardens need care. Hopefully the crops will be bountiful, enough to provide for the ones in the family that can't grown one. Yea I know, my body is shot and there are those who would argue that I don't need to be there. Realizing that I'm not in too good of shape I will have to become creative in order to achieve this both in equipment, time, and energy. There will be those who say I will not be able to do this, just as was said last year, and though I pale in comparison to what I once was, I try. Then storms may come and they are beyond my control.

And should this year be a bountiful year I have played a little part in it. Honestly I don't care for eating most of what will be in there, but others that I care for do. So I will work the soil, the plants, toss the rocks. I do this with hope and faith. I have hope that I have done correctly and worked hard enough to make a garden that is productive. I have faith that if I do what I can that maybe God will reward me with a good producing garden, but if not then I do so with acceptance that it wasn't meant to be. Last year, even though my body faltered, I tried, but it wasn't meant to be. I did get enough of a few things to share with a few people, but nothing like I would have liked too.

That is ok though and while a bit down heartening, it is what it is... life learning. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it is no, and sometimes it is not yet. So, that is the way life works and should work. Nothing good and decent on this earth was created by us, God created it and loaned it to us. God gives us the energy and the ability and intelligence to take care of what we can... and that goes beyond a planted garden. If we are given much then I believe we are to share that. Like with the onions we had what we wanted, enough, while Mark had none. We had food we had not eaten, so the animals were offered it first, the the ground second. The field stones serve no purpose in the garden yet they have a purpose. They will be my "gravel" that will strengthen and make the ground harder and less mussy when the wet season comes on which to park the trucks.

And if this one fails then with God's will, I will do it again the next year as best I can. And the next, and the next, and the next... for as long as God allows. Through persistence, faith, hope, and humbleness I will keep on trying. I will remain talking to God and in the silence you can her Him talk back to you as you ponder over scriptures. With little audible voice left I have a great strong voice not audible... but then again we all do. As long as I am allowed to I will keep on fighting the odds, keep on trying, until one day it will be decided for me my trials are over.

I will still be excited if even one tomato or bean sprouts and tickled to know that I had a small part in that, and give thanks. And if my garden produce abundantly, I will rejoice and see that we all have, remembering I played a small part in it, and give thanks. Either way I will remember that I am not a Master Gardener, or any other kind of master. For this world only has one Master, and it is that Master who has granted me to work in my garden, which is His dirt, His seeds, His plants, His nutrients and hopefully by His servant... me. The rocks are right where He put them. Close enough for me to toss them where I need them, where diligence, patience, hardship, and work are needed to chip away until it is all clear. The onions came in a bundles bigger than I needed, enough to share. The constant working with the soil, to show that everything in life needs to be attended to constantly. The leaves, limbs, unwanted foods, paper, ashes from the wood stove, as a reminded that what I receive or take, I must add back something in thanks. The stubborn strong stumps, there to remind me that we are granted strength from above, even though we may not be whole in body. The weeding of the garden, to know that we must maintain our relationships. And should I get just a single fruit, that I should be thankful. And should I get a bountiful harvest, to see that I should take only what I need and see that others have what they need too.

I take honor and pride in knowing I have enough to share. Not that I produced it, but that God allowed me to play a small part in that production. That He has given me strength to endure the season, and that strengthens me... physically, emotionally, and most important, spiritually. No matter the turn out of the end result, as long as I have done my best. Knowing full well that I have learned much and tried hard. I've learned that everything has a place and everything is for a reason. One not always known, but it is there. A known one though is that I have grown each season.

Our life is a garden like that, or at least mine is. What I have learned in farming, gardening, and sometimes the hard way has been the most valuable lessons to date. I have been so blessed.


  1. Don't sell yourself short, your writing may not be perfect, but it is none the less beautiful! What wonderful comparisons you make between your garden, life, & your physical form. I love all the "beyond & back" episodes, which is what led me to your blog. Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Thanks Annette. I write from the heart. I wish I had paid a bit more attention in English class though.

  3. Hello Anthony my name is Tom I am 47 I have been married 26 of them and have 1 boy 21 and 1 girl 23.

    I been fixated with NDE's since I first saw the show a few months ago. However your are the one person I really relate to. The way you tell us your story of death with a smile and a twinkle in your eye is so comforting, and i think that's what attracts us is the comfort of knowing that there absolutely is a God and he is a loving and caring one. I was brought up Catholic so i was told Jesus was kind but God, not so much (as you have said about religions).

    I started to renew my faith in God a little while before seeing the show. It began when I rediscovered the seven mortal or deadly sins. I realized that i needed to change my heart because all of them were so easy to commit on a daily basis. But like you I was pretty sure I was going to hell (even without the life review). I seem to be able to remember almost everything I've ever done and there's been some bad stuff. But I still prayed for my family's safety even though I didn't think God listened to me anymore. But you are proof of God, and I know we are just supposed to believe without proof, but proof is comforting. Sorry I didn't write sooner and I hope you are feeling better.

    Doubting Thomas

  4. Hello Tom, Sorry that I had not read this sooner. I think we all have things we've done bad, some of us more than others. The fortune ones are the ones who see themselves and know, then act. I would imagine that your memories are God's way of reaching out to you. None of us, and I've been honored to have been in the company of great people, can reach that far, but if we reach as high as we can, He will make up the difference. I truly believe that.

    We are His creation, made in His likeness, so He loves us more than we could ever possibly imagine. I can't speak for God but I do believe that He is listening to you, and even speaking to you, else you would not see your short comings. You are loved by Him. What good Father don't love their children? He is there.

    There is a passage that I never realized until that night that say Be Still and Know that God is God. It's took me a lot of my life to know that, even more to actually do that.

    God Bless, Anthony

  5. Hi Anthony,

    I, like others who have written to you here, found you because of the episode of the show that you were on. I caught the end of it one day a while back and was able to see the whole thing today.
    I've seen a couple of these shows, and have been very awed, but your story in particular really touched me.
    I, like everyone, have lost loved ones. One that I have really struggled with is the loss of my Dad, who passed suddenly back in 2005. I've really struggled with his death, the "what ifs" and "did I do enough" while he was in the hospital.
    Hearing you tell your story has really helped bring me peace. It's such a comfort knowing that he is happy and safe and I will see him and my other loved ones again.
    I love how you were able to find humor, even in the middle of such a serious situation, when the nurse was inserting the stint. Maybe that's why I related to you so much. You remind me a lot of my Dad. He had a great sense of humor too.
    And for the record, I think you write beautifully. You write from the heart, and that is beautiful.
    Take care and God bless.
    Tina :)

  6. Hi Tina, Thanks for the compliments. I think we all struggle with those questions, that and thinking back about what we may or may not have said. I know I do. Dad died suddenly between the first interview and the one we taped for the show. I miss him but I wouldn't want him back for even a moment, he deserves better than to leave where he is now. From what you wrote about him and your worries I'd say you are a good daughter and the apple of his eye. He knows that you know and I'm sure knew it then too.

    I think of dad and the others that I have been blessed by being in their company in my life and smile. I remember years ago when Papa died Annie said he looked at her and told her when she visited the grave or thought of him to always smile, and he would look down from Heaven and smile back. For years I didn't realize the depth of what he told her, but I do now. One day, when the time comes you will once again see and be with him, but in God's time and more importantly, in His perfection. Meanwhile, smile and know he is smiling with you.

    God Bless,

  7. Hi Anthony, Just finished the episode of B and B. So glad you mentioned you have a blog. Your story is so intriguing and I can't tell you the relief I felt when I heard that God had forgiven you. I know I will find myself in those shoes one day and I pray to God that He has mercy on my soul as he did yours.
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. It gives all of us hope!