“Hey! God’s been telling me to put in a garden for you guys!”
Out of the blue, our friend Mark (a landscaper by profession, and a gardener by passion) called my husband with this news a few weeks ago. We’ve known Mark for about ten years, but lost touch with him until pretty recently when he came over to the house a few months ago to have lunch with us and catch up. I can’t remember ever talking about gardening during that visit, and since then Jon has kept up with him off and on through the occasional text to say “hello” but they haven’t talked much until a few weeks ago when we got that phone call.
When Jon told me about it, I felt blessed but apprehensive. I’ve wanted a garden for a long time, but I’ve envisioned it years down the line when the house is always clean and organized, the kids are older and more mature, when I’m a perfect cook who sews my own clothes and spends my free time reading Better Homes and Gardens. Noo…. surely God meant A FEW YEARS FROM NOW! When I’m a responsible, knowledgeable person with no fear of bugs and a love for the great outdoors! To my shame, I actually asked my husband to call Mark back and tell him we weren’t ready for a garden!!! How about a few tomatoes, instead? That would be just fine.
Ever notice that God is pretty good at getting His way?
A few different things have happened in the last few weeks that led me to realize that A. this is a HUGE blessing and gift we’re being offered and B. if God is leading someone to help us put in a garden, then I need to suck it up and learn to garden!
(Apparently, I use the not-so-nice phrase “suck it up” a little too often… my 10 year old floored me when she playfully said it to her daddy the other day! These kids, they’re like walking mirrors, forcing me to look more closely at myself on a daily basis!)
So last week, Mark came over with 12 of these little guys:
(They’re Araucana’s or Ameraucana’s… or some kind of cross between the two… whatever they are, they’ll lay blue and green eggs when they’re grown. Fun!)
And this weekend, Mark is coming out to… I don’t know… do whatever it is people do to prepare for a garden.
So for the last few days, the whole family has been involved in working to get our yard and coop as ready as we know how (well, okay, everyone but me. I pretty much stayed out of the heat and away from the bugs until the very last minute, when I went around taking pictures. And, I admit, I had to get some of them to pose and do what they HAD been doing while I was safe inside with the air conditioning.)
Jon, operating the tiller a friend loaned to us:
See the weeds and the TREES that have grown up around our chicken fence? THAT’S how long it’s been since we’ve paid any attention to our chicken coop. Normally, the chickens just wander around the yard not laying eggs, and visiting our front porch:
For a while, they were actually roosting on the chair on our front porch (“chair” is a little misleading… it’s actually the back seat of our passenger van. Nobody ever said we weren’t redneck.) We finally broke them of that habit, and now they roost on our back porch.
Bunchkin wanted to mow the yard and felt pretty proud of herself!
She did a great job!
Shmooey dragged dead trees to the burn pile (I’ll take a picture of the burn pile when we’re finished with it – it should be pretty impressive. See the trees lining the background in this picture, and the one above? They’re all growing along our fence line and have to be cut down. Not to mention the weeds – some of which are taller than our children. You can see how diligent we are about getting yard work done – especially when it comes to weeding. This gardening thing ought to be interesting.)
To give you a little perspective on the weeds (he’s pretending to pull them out. Unfortunately, I think they’re past that stage):
Even the little ones got in on the fun!
Soooo… I guess we’re getting a garden! Life is about to get a little more fun. 🙂