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Date:10/25/2014 10:59:43 PM
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Gratification
One evening a couple of months ago, as I was sorting through the mail-order seeds that My Ruthie had ordered, my son Andrew and his girlfriend Liz came up from his "man cave" in the basement. "We're hungry." He explained with a smile.
I smiled back and tossed him a package of sweet corn seed. "Here," I told him, "plant these and in less than three months you'll have more than enough to eat." Andrew wasn't amused but Liz, being a farmer's daughter, thought it was funny.
A Countryman knows that there is no such thing as "instant gratification". Since the Fall of Adam, when God told him, "By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food ..." (Genesis 3-19), country folks have learned that you have to be patient when working the land. How many of us have planted perennials, shrubs and trees knowing full well that it will take months, years, and even decades before we see the final result. Indeed, the two quotes that come to mind are: "He who plants trees benefits another generation." -- Caecilius Statius, and “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
I had related in a past blog how Pa had planted Norway pine seedlings during the last year of his life. He explained to Ma that it would make good cover for deer hunting. Ma asked him, "Do you think that you'll live forever?"
"I can try!" was Pa's retort. While I truly believe that it was Pa's intention to live for a good long while (after all, his mother lived to be 98) I think that he also felt the call to improve the land that was his. I think that it is a visceral urge of every Countryman and woman to leave their property more viable and vibrant (c'est-a-dire) more full of life, than when they first acquired it. Lord knows that my Ruthie and I have spent the last 28 years trying to do the same thing on our home property.

I find that despite my earlier statements in this posting, I must admit that, like every year at this time, I am surprised at how fast the growing season can leave a gardener in its wake. In less than a week after I'd planted the gardens, beans and corn were already poking through the soil. This week I was already behind in the second mowing and first weed whacking of the year. I also must put on netting on the Valley Garden within the next week or risk the deer nipping off the corn and squash shoots.

So, in a paradox of logic; while I patiently await the growth of this year's crops, I am hard pressed to keep up with the tasks of early Summer. -- Gary
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