Then I went through a second traumatic divorce (not uncommon to children in todays world). This caused a move to the small town in which I now reside. I had just graduated high school and began working (a full-time job; though I had had paying jobs ever since probably years 8 or 9 of mowing yards, delivering papers and working in stinky huge chicken-houses). We moved to a mobile home park, and were one of the first (of three) to move into that newly developing mobile home park. For the first year, because there was open ground, we planted a small little garden in back of the mobile home. Then I moved out and on . . . (The mobile home park, after 40+ years, is completely full, and my mom still lives in the same place.)
Shortly thereafter, I ended up in Texas for 3 years in a bad marriage. One of my main goals in life was to *own land*. This was not one of his. In Texas, I really never gardened except for one apartment I bought a very large container (probably 5 gallons), and put in a tomato plant. I didn't tend it very well. I remember my mom, brother and younger brother, and my grandpa (my mom's dad) came to visit. I'm thinking my grandpa was probably a gardener-of-gardeners, and a farmer-of-farmers, and of course that's how gardening got into my mom's blood. Well my grandpa saw my pitiful tomato plant and began tending it. He told me that I always needed to keep the soil loose and free, to let it breathe.
Then my journey took me to Idaho (Sandpoint rural area, actually 30 miles from Sandpoint to a place called Elk Grove Estates), to live-off-the-land (but it was somebody else's land). This required saving up money to live self-sufficiently (which my mom had taught me to do). It also required burning wood for heat and no electricity or indoor bathroom facilities. Water was gravity feed from a rain barrel system. Wood was gathered from the National Forest of dead and standing-dead (though there was plenty of wood on the property itself). At this point there was again a garden, but not of my own. Potatoes grow nicely in Idaho, as did carrots; but tomatoes a different story. Because of the short season, we had to harvest the near ripe (or even green) tomatoes and store them in boxes with newspaper wrapped around them. This worked, but they would quickly spoil if one tiny bad spot. And they weren't as good as fresh-wholly-ripe tomatoes.
Because there wasn't a lot of money-making work to be had nearby, we made a trip to Spokane, Washington, living in a small RV camper in a KOA campground, and spent a little over a year getting jobs and working to save up some more money, and then back to Idaho. Now it was in Spokane that I had my first very own garden. I liked it because the conditions were very similar to that of Indiana. I grew mostly tomatoes and corn and a few peppers, and these all did nicely.
Then when physical and verbal abuse began happening back in Idaho; I journeyed home again, Indiana . . .
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