TsFlowers's blog: My Formidable Years . . . and a bit past that . . .

Posted on Nov 19, 2017 10:15 AM

Now we all form opinions . . . some of those are truth and some are not, and some may be neither, just remaining opinions. But it is my opinion that a person's formidable years are from the womb to age 7. My formidable years in many ways were *bad* as I suffered through some verbal abuse, and seeing a little physical abuse too. My parents were divorced when I was age approximately 5. I have searched out my past, and put the blame on the former generation, and one specifically. I love and respect both my Father and Mother. My Dad has since gone on, but my Mom still helps me out a great deal.

Though most of my formidable years I only remember the *bad* things, some of those better things I'm sure have impacted my life. My dad was a gardener (my mom too). He so wanted to grow peach trees too, but always had trouble with those moths.

The small property (probably 1/2 an acre) they owned had a very small creek running through it (would I love to own that property today). Then, I thought that creek was *huge*. I remember my brother (2 years older) and I going out to play when snow covered the ground heavily. We went toward the creek, and I began sliding downward into it. Scared me to death!! But as for gardening, my dad had a large patch. I have no idea what he grew nor did I pay any attention to that. What I did notice was that he would carry bucket after bucket of water from that creek to water the garden. Now that creek was flowing with minnows. He would pour those buckets onto the garden and those poor little minnows would be flopping around. This broke my heart. So I would gather up glass canning jars that my mom would let me use (I guess she let me because I never got in trouble) and I would put water in them and try to gather up those minnows. Of course, poor things would be floating dead by the next morning as I would anxiously go out to look at them. Then I have realized that when I started gardening myself, that those minnows actually became fertilizer in the soil, and their life was put to good use.

Then when my mom remarried, gardening was to be had again. Then I know what we grew. Always lots of green beans, tomatoes, peppers (we called them mangos), carrots, (onions which I hated), cucumbers, plenty of cabbage, and we even had some gooseberry plants. This garden was a real treat for me. When I got hungry, I would visit the garden, savoring on a fresh tomato, or pulling a carrot and washing it off with the hose and eating it just like that, or picking a pepper and eating it. Those gooseberries were also a great treat too when they were ripe. But I also developed a *hate* for gardening. We also grew potatoes, and lots of them. In fact, one whole plot of them which was probably 100' x 100'. We were made to go and help remove the potato bugs, larvae, eggs from under the leaves, and all (this was always done manually without the use of chemicals). I hated every time we went to that plot (it was in another location)!! I didn't mind squishing the eggs, but when it came to the bugs and the larvae, this was just too gross!! But we also helped plant them, which I didn't mind. They hoed out the hole, and me and my brother would go behind and drop in the potato piece, being taught that the *eye* was to be placed upward.

Now these above mentioned things have benefited me in my future. Therefore, I do think there are some things that a child should be caused to do whether they hate it or not. Now that I grow asparagus, I've had a terrible time with the asparagus/bean beetle. Instead of using chemicals, when I go out to harvest the asparagus, I squish every beetle I find, and if I find eggs that they have laid on the asparagus stems, these all get harvested and either brought into the house and washed down the sink, or thrown in the garbage which is carried off to the landfill.

My mom also did a lot of canning. This included lots of whole tomatoes and tomato juice too. There were always green beans on the shelf and potatoes in the cellar (which I often had to go and gather for the meal . . . which that too I hated ~smile~). Onions too were stored in the cellar. Above the cellar was a small space with shelves for all the canned goods. My mom also had a large crock, and turned that cabbage into kraut. That too I hated, but I loved the smell. I since love kraut, but do not have a crock, nor have I tried to make it myself. My mom also made and canned her own catsup, that too I hated. I still don't like it, though she tells me it's great on certain things. I might like it now, but don't plan to make any myself. (I think it had nutmeg and or cloves in it.) I'm pretty fond of good ol' Heinz. There was also a grape vine, and on occasion my mom canned grape juice, until the vines became too aged and were removed. This I loved, and loved eating the grapes (Concord) fresh from the vines!

So I believe that canning also was in my heart from childhood, and I'm so thankful for it!!!

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Interesting observation by Faridat Nov 20, 2017 7:09 AM 0

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