Homegrown harvest

SONG: “Rain, Rain Go Away,” as sung on “Jack’s Big Music Show” by the Schwartzman Quartet puppets
I love things picked fresh from the garden. This week, after noticing how my potato plants were drowning in the daily rain storms, I let the kids harvest the only successful plant we had this growing season, the potatoes.
(We have some strawberry plants that are doing well too. They were planted a few years ago, so we don’t count them as part of the garden.)
When he unearthed the first batch of potatoes, my oldest son exclaimed, “Look at my beans!”
They had medium potatoes the size of the palm of their hand and babies that should stay in the ground.
It was fun seeing my kids examine the size and shape of every potato.
“Mom, why does this have a green spot?”
“Ah, look at the baby potato.”
It was a happy moment. I’ve been working hard at letting moments like these happen.
My daughter got to make her first batch of food from scratch — yogurt and berry Pop sickles. She did an excellent job: So much so that there was only two left at the end of the day we made them.
I love homemade, homegrown food. It reminds me of vacations at my grandparents and stopping by roadside stands. Berry picking at a farm with my grandma to make jelly and strawberry short cake.
It also goes into toward self-sufficiency. I always wanted to be able to do things without relying on others. Mostly because I wanted to be informed if someone tried to con me.
I bought the potatoes from Kroger and when they started going bad, I cut them and planted them outside.
I cultivated some memories and hopefully tasty treats. But I’m probably the only one that sees it that way.
My yard is surrounded my shade. I have tall tomato plants that won’t bloom. There’s just not enough sunlight.
Why plant there if you’re doomed to fail? The same answer can be applied to why I run.
Because I can.
I’m not fast enough to qualify for the Olympics, or a good enough gardener to win a ribbon at the county fair. In some circles, I suck.
But each day I train in some way that’s uniquely mine. I’ve improved my time so I can run a 36 minute four mile run. When I started running, that was how long it took me to run 3 miles. I can run 13 miles and still be ready to run more.
In my garden, I found plants that thrive in darkness ferns, strawberries and potatoes.
If I hadn’t tried, I wouldn’t have learned; I wouldn’t have grown.
This was a week of growth for me. It was the first week where I was able to have real, meaningful interaction with my kids. We played games, cooked, made lava lamps, and tried some yoga. And when they fought among each other, it was no biggy. We worked through it and moved on.
This could be the start of a beautiful, renewed relationship with my family and my running.

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