Gardening and yard work are good for the mind. It's peaceful, thinking time for me. As we have tackled this project, I've been thinking a great deal about my mother-in-law, Ruby. Ruby passed away a couple of years ago, having reached the great milestone of 90 years. It was with Ruby that I planted and tended to my first vegetable gardens.
Ruby was very calm about things, she never really got in a flap about much (unless you were to run off to Vegas to get married, then she had something to say!) This serenity probably came about from having 17 kids. No, that was not a typo. Yes, one family, all from the same husband. She really was something. After having that many kids she saw it all and probably realized that things just weren't worth getting so worked up over.
She must have really wondered what kind of nut job her son had gotten himself tangled up with because I was probably out in the garden with a ruler, measuring seed depth. I am rather flappable and was very concerned I was doing things all wrong. I was so worried about taking these fragile plants out of their little containers to transplant them. Surely they would die before I actually got them in the ground! I was convinced that there was a secret to all of this gardening stuff that I, as a young wife, did not know. My mother always grew a fabulous garden and she seemed to dedicate most of her summer to it, so I thought it must have taken great skill and knowledge. Why didn't I pay attention as a dreadful, disinterested teenager??
I asked Ruby a whole bunch of questions before I even got started. She would just calmly say, "I don't know, just put it in the ground, it'll grow." She gave me a few hints and tips, but she mostly taught me that it wasn't rocket science. I believe that what she was trying to communicate to me was that we've been doing this for generations. Just trust, and learn along the way. When I think back to this time I spent with her, I'm filled with appreciation for this lesson.
At Ruby's funeral service, my parents gave our family a most beautiful gift. They placed some money in the sympathy card, indicating that we should use it to buy a tree for our new yard in Ruby's memory. Well, we bought the Ruby Tree this weekend; a beautiful young Pembina Plum, which bears ruby red fruit. We chose a fruit tree because Ruby was practical and like us, she loved fruit desserts. We are planting an orchard of sorts (as much as you can have an orchard on a tiny city lot!) and we now have a plum, a cherry, and two apples.
Jaxon helped me plant these ones. It's quite appropriate because he seemed to be pretty special in Grandma Ruby's eyes. He was her last grandchild, number 55, I think. She couldn't always remember his name (who could blame her) so she took to calling him The Boy. That name has pretty much stuck.
I've never planted fruit trees before, but I believe in what I have learned. "Put them in the ground, they'll grow." Thank you Grandma Ruby.
|The Boy getting ready to plant the Ruby Plum|