Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ancient Artifacts

My mother-in-law, whose name is Yolanda, Jimmy and I have decided to have a vegetable garden this summer.  Well, to be honest, my mother-in-law and I decided to have a vegetable garden this summer, and so we decided that Jimmy would make us one.  Being the 2 women in the house, he decided that if he wanted to continue to live and eat happily, he would make us happy and comply.

I have had gardens in the past, in fact I usually throw a few tomatoes and cukes in the ground every year and then aim the hose at them occasionally and hope for the best and harvest a few veggies before the weeds take over.  But last summer, Yolanda and I went to pick out the seedlings, and then we planted them, like usual.  But then, Yolanda actually watered them daily and kept them weeded, so we had a pretty good crop of tomatoes before they got too crowded and before something weird happened to the cukes (but that is another story).  So, after enjoying the bounty for almost the whole summer, we decided to actually do things right this year and expand the plot.

This is all we have had in the past years:

As you can see, it is a pretty small plot to support a family of 7.  So, Saturday morning, since it was unseasonably warm around here, Jimmy got up bright and early and started hoeing the sod off the top of the area we have decided to garden.

Of course, Elizabeth and Jo wanted to help, so chaos ensued (and yes, Jimmy was 'posed' in this picture.  He did not actually swing the hoe that high and in the direction of the girls' heads!  Jo, however, has her wild hair naturally.)

I know that this is not that big of a space, either, but the problem is that our yard is not really that big and we spend a lot of time playing in the front yard, and this is the only space that doesn't get used.  The back yard has the swing set in it, but when we are going to play together as a family, unless it is around a campfire, we are in the front yard because it is bigger, flatter and unobstructed by stuff like the swing set, the clothes line and dog poo.

While they were digging, I was mixing up the compost.  We have a bio-orb where we dump all our compost-able kitchen garbage.

First, I got Jimmy to roll it to get the preliminary mix going,

and then I used the hoe to mix it some more.  I think we need to wait a little longer before it is ready, but it is really starting to look good!  The problem is that we keep adding to it.  I think that I need to get another one and use them on a rotation.

You can see the raspberry bushes growing in from the side in this picture.  I am hoping to actually get some raspberries off it this year.  In the fall of 2009 someone (who will remain nameless but whose name starts with a J) cut all the stalks off down to the ground.  Raspberries only grow on 2 year old stalks, so you can guess how many berries we got off our bush last summer! (Hint:  x <1)

Anyway, while Jimmy was digging out front, he came across these things buried in the dirt:

I thought this was fascinating.  I have lived in this house for 13 years, so most of these things are ours, but I was thinking about how in 100's of years, someone could be excavating here and find these things.  What would they think they are?  I mean the fork and the straw are pretty self explanatory, unless in 100's of years people no longer eat.  But what about the bottle caps and the pop tab?  I am sure that someone will come up with a better way to handle packaging drinks.  The nail polish still has a label on it so far, but what about the knife handle (which I am not sure how that got out there.  It was one of my better knives and it disappeared one day about 7 years ago when we were living in Hawaii.) and the bottom half of the pacifier?  The rubber part is missing, so what would someone think that was?  I don't even know what some of the other things are.

You know, it got me to thinking on 2 things.  First, we make assumptions on who people were and how they lived when we look at the ancient remains of their trash and bones and what-not.  But what if we have it all wrong and and we are only looking at the handle of the knife or the bottom of the pacifier and never figure out what the other end looked like?  I know that there are experts in this stuff, but it just got me to wonder about that.

But the other part that I started to think about was our lives as Christians.  When we leave somewhere are we leaving the whole picture?  Can people look at what we leave behind and know our whole selves and see the story of God in what we do?  Or do we just leave old rusty parts behind as we go through life?  Work with me on this one a little bit.  Like I said, I've been in this house for 13 years.  When I leave this house, what am I leaving behind?  Will the neighbors be able to say, 'Yep, that was a Christian family' or will they say, 'Well, they went to church every Sunday, but I don't know beyond that.'?  As I do life, am I leaving behind a whole shiny knife or a whole pacifier or am I leaving behind pieces that don't work, aren't any good and you can't really tell what they were unless you are familiar with them. 

My prayer is that I step out everyday and show through my actions and through love for those around me that God dwells here in me and in my house.  I pray that even though I may not get to talk to everyone, people around me can see God hand working through me.

Anyway, that was just a thought that I had.

Here is the garden so far:

All that's left is to add some soil conditioner, till it up and get it planted.  I'm so excited!  With both gardens together, we may actually be able to do some real growing!

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