Thursday, March 10, 2016

Dirt in my Blood

Driving to work this morning I had an overwhelming urge to call my Grandpa Raymond and ask him if it was too early to plant tomatoes and okra yet, and what veggies I should put in my front beds and which ones in the back. I desperately wanted to be back in his little red pick up truck headed to the local feed and seed store to pick out seeds and fencing and say hello to all of his bridge buddies. I imagined I was on his back porch drinking sun tea and eating Saltines with fresh tomato, staring up into the endless tangle of grapevine over head. 

I cried big salty Saltine tears as I continued on the road to work.

Home for lunch, I kicked my shoes off and wandered into the grass. The warm sun kissed my neck as I dug, sifted, moved the soil around with my hands in the little garden in front of my house. It is only March, but Spring is here - the birds chirping softly wakes me up in the morning, the daffodils, saucer magnolias and dogwoods are blooming bright and cheery, and kneeling in the grass working the dirt with my own two hands fills my heart with joy.  

Pulling up the old, retiling and replanting, then waiting. This process makes me feel connected and strong and sane. 

I miss my Grandpa. 

I miss the way he always wore his cowboy hat and slacks. I miss the smell of his little old stick shift pickup that always had loose change and starlight mints floating around the dash. I miss riding with him to Grandma Sylvia's Farm where we would pick apples and look out on miles and miles of flat land and big skies. I miss the gentle way he taught me about farming and growing and building and living. He never had me sit out or be cautious because I was a girl. He had me digging and sawing and sowing and picking regardless of if I showed up in my ballet skirt or not. He showed me how to respect this earth we live on, dig in, and eat from. He helped shape me into the strong woman I am.

I miss my Grandpa, but I'm grateful for the time I had with him.
I have dirt in my blood, and always will.

1 comment:

  1. Great story, just read it outloud to Lisa and she cried some. Great pictures too. I miss Dad too.