Jerry’s Patio Garden – Flowers Bloom First, Then Comes the Fruit

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This Week’s Picture:  The flowers are blooming.  It won’t be long before i see cucumbers at the end of those stems.  At least that is what I expect.  It won’t be the first time that I saw flowers and no fruit.

In the Days of my 1996 Garden

It had been nearly two weeks since the flowers, which were blooming all over the place, had fallen off and still there were no tomatoes, no melons, not much of anything.  Just a few squash and a few cucumbers here and there.  Probably had to do with the fact that the soil was not treated beforehand.  My request to start a garden came far too late to do any pre-treatment of the soil.

A Trip Into “the Woods”

After eyeing my disappointing crop one day, I decided to just take a walk into the forest area, which we referred to simply as “the woods”.  I was so disappointed, I did not check to see if I would be there along or not.  I was not on guard for any of the wild life (lizards, snakes, large moths, etc.) that terrified me.  I was generally terrifed by any critter that crawled, slithered or flew.  This afternoon I did not care.  I just walked deeper and deeper into the woods.  I walked alongside a creek that ran through the woods.  I was calmed my the rush of the water that flowed over the green, moss covered rocks.  It was a moment of peace for me as I stepped slowly across a path that was made by others.  As I walked I forgot all about my disappointment.  Bushes, reeds and ferns lined the river.  Pine trees, oak trees, and vines hanging from oak were everywhere.  I was lost in the moment but not lost in the woods.  I know the path would take me back home.  I finally remembered my garden.  Next year, I said to myself.  I saw a rotted stump of tree, about a foot tall whose roots clung to the ground.  I kicked it over, then watched the termites scurry all over the place.  I continued to kick away until I saw the reddish colored wood in the middle.  I picked up a limb that layed on the ground nearby and begin to knock away the rotted sections of the stump until the piece of reddish-orange wood stood out from the core.  Kindling, I thought.  Kindling was a great starter fuel for fires that were lit in wood burning stoves.  You could buy them from the stores that sold wood, sometimes the lumber trucks would drop off a bundle along with scrap wood from the lumber yard or sometimes you could find it in old rotted out stumps of trees.  I kicked the kindling until I heard a crack.  It was broken free.  I reached in with my hand and yanked it up.  I brushed off the dust and termites.  I smiled as I turned back to the path and headed towards home.

Stay Tuned Next Week for Jerry’s Patio Garden.

 

We Pursue Past Our Pain

in our various pursuits in our lifetime
from race to race, from time to time
we will fall, we will all be knocked down
nonetheless, if we can at least crawl
we crawl slowly. then we walk
and we pursue past our pain

when we are tripped by our own feet
enemies laugh, friends frown
feeling like we have been slapped by concrete
for our negligence, for our carelessness
for our lack of grit, for our lack of wit
we brush the slab away,
and we pursue past our pain

when our trust has been violated
we are wounded, we feel betrayed
when we see our chairs at the head
purloined, stolen by a friendly face
we wear a mask of tears and shame
yet we wipe our eyes as we pursue past our pain

when knife yielders slash us
when gun bearers cap us
when robbers rip us
when cons con us
when sun and ice burn us
still breathing, though bleeding

crawl if we must.
we crawl slowly. then we walk
and we pursue past our pain

Jerry’s Patio Garden: Blog Recap

Jerry’s Patio Garden is a weekly blog of Jerry’s 1966 childhood adventures in the rural south while cultivating his first garden.

Jerry’s blog began this summer and is planned to end in the fall.  Listed below is each week’s blog in order the date that it was posted.  We hope that you enjoy it.

June 21st – It’ Blogging Time

https://jtjohnpoet.com/2016/06/21/its-blogging-time-jerrys-patio-garden/

June 26th – Sprouts are a Sprouting

https://jtjohnpoet.com/2016/06/26/jerrys-patio-garden-sprouts-are-sprouting/

July 3rd – While Waiting for the Soil Report

https://jtjohnpoet.com/2016/07/03/jerrys-patio-garden-while-i-was-waiting-for-the-soil-report/

July 18th – The Soil Report

https://jtjohnpoet.com/2016/07/18/jerrys-patio-garden-the-soil-report-2/

July 27th – My Vines are Spreading

https://jtjohnpoet.com/2016/07/27/jerrys-patio-garden-my-vines-are-spreading/

 

Jerry’s blog about growing up in the rural south is based on many actual events and many ways of life.  Many of the people appearing in Jerry’s blog are somewhat fictionalized and names are fully fictionalized

Jerry’s Patio Garden – This Week’s Post: My Vines are a Spreading

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This week’s picture: my vines are a spreading!

2016 update

My one pot of cucumbers are coming along! I expect those flowers to bloom soon!

Back to my childhood garden in 1966

It was late May and school would soon be over! Those flowers on the vegetable plants, that show up first, were blooming all over the bloomin place! I was happy though. According to my uncle, this meant progress. It also meant that it was time to break up some more cow chips, crush them up and spread the fine crumbles into the soil. Cow chips, you say? Cow manure, most times, resemble large round flat shaped chips, hence the term cow chips. They made great fertilizer and that is all I am going to say on that subject!

Moving right along! It was also time to pull up more weeds from my garden! I learned that gardening is more than just planting veggie seeds. There was constant maintenance as well. Between hauling water, chopping wood, homework and gardening, my childhood agenda was quite full.

Nevertheless, there was time for recreation in the rural south too. We played stickball, we played dodgeball and we played hide and seek. Again, I was a fourth grader and I enjoyed playing much more then I enjoyed work, just like any other fourth grader. I got into a little hot water during one episode of hide and seek. It all had to do with Carla Simpson. Carla was in 3rd grade. She was cute, shorter than me, very quiet yet quick of wit -especially when it came to giving me well deserved grief for some of my childish mischievous ways.  Most of all however and in my mine at the time, the mostest beautiful girl in the world.

We were in a hot and heavy game of hide and seek. The forest area, commonly referred to as “the woods” were always off limits to us elementary school kids. Saturday afternoons in the woods were reserved for the Junior and Senior high schoolers of the rural south. Anyhow we had plenty places to hide in, and I chose a spot behind an old 58 Chevy that was no longer running and sitting on top of four concrete blocks. I was tired on that day and really did not feel like searching hard for a hiding place. Nonetheless, I was having great fun. It was like I was hiding in plain sight. All the first graders, all the second graders third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders were out there and they all passed right by me without noticing me. All except Carla Simpson. She found me. Immediately, we began to throw verbal jabs at each other. “It figures” she snapped, “that you would find the easiest place to find you.”

“It figures you would be the only one to find me”, I responded.  We both were looking at each other and smiling as we taunted each other with barbs.  The more we taunted, the closer we became until finally, out of nowhere, we leaned toward each other and kissed.  It was just a light peck of the lips but electrifying for a moment.  Until.  “Ooooh, Ooooh Jerry kissed Carla!”  I heard from the chorus of voices right behind us!  “We are going to tell!  We are going to tell!” A few of my cousins and a few of the neighborohood kids who were running around during the high intensity high and seek game suddenly came upon us as we were pecking each other on the lips.  Now in retrospect, we kissed each other but the neighborhood kids interpreted the whole thing as me kissing Carla.  “Jerry kissed Carla!  We are going to tell!  We are going to tell! was the resounding chorus over and over again.  Carla was long gone by the second stanza of that chorus and I finally walked away towards “the woods”.

I figured that I was in hot water.  They would surely tell my mother, who just happened to have just arrived from the big city of Greenville.  (at least it was big in my eyes at the time, i would learn later in life that it was quite small).  My family had moved back to the big city after having spent a few years in the rural area outside of Columbia.  I was left with my aunt just to finish out the school year.  My mother had come down from Greenville for a few days to take care of some business.   There was no telling how she would respond if the neighborhood kids told her what I had just done.

I was in the woods looking for what my parents called a hickory.  A hickory was a small switch that some parents in the south used to enforce discipline, correction and mild punishment for misdeeds of children.  The less proper term was called a whipping.   The switch was a very thin, long twig from a bush with the leaves pulled off of it.  A whipping from a loving parent was mostly a mild stinging that hurt your feelings more than it did your flesh.

I was now in the woods, searching for the largest hickory I could find.  I found a small branch.  I did not bother to strip the leaves off.  I left the woods and walked straight to the house into the kitchen where my mother was stripping some collards from their stems.  I threw the rather large hickory on the table, looked at her and said, “Beat me now”.  My mother, stunned, looked at me and asked, “What?”  “Beat me now”, i said again.  “Ok, boy you need to tell me what this is all about”, she said as she glared at me.  “Beat me now”, I persisted.  “Child”, she responded, “you getting on my nerve! What is this about?”

“I kissed Carla”, I said.  For a brief moment there was a glint of a smile on my mother’s face.  She picked up the miniature tree limb, broke it in two and threw it into the wood pile and then said to me, now really smiling, “Boy get out of here before I kill you.”   ….and off i ran, hearing her chuckle in the background.

Stay tuned this weekend for the next chapter of “Jerry’s Patio Garden”.

Jerry’s Patio Garden – My Vines are Spreading!

image

This week’s picture: my vines are a spreading!

2016 update

My one pot of cucumbers are coming along! I expect those flowers to bloom soon!

Back to my childhood garden in 1966

It was late May and school would soon be over! Those flowers on the vegetable plants, that show up first, were blooming all over the bloomin place! I was happy though. According to my uncle, this meant progress. It also meant that it was time to break up some more cow chips, crush them up and spread the fine crumbles into the soil. Cow chips, you say? Cow manure, most times, resemble large round flat shaped chips, hence the term cow chips. They made great fertilizer and that is all I am going to say on that subject!

Moving right along! It was also time to pull up more weeds from my garden! I learned that gardening is more than just planting veggie seeds. There was constant maintenance as well. Between hauling water, chopping wood, homework and gardening, my childhood agenda was quite full.

Nevertheless, there was time for recreation in the rural south too. We played stickball, we played dodgeball and we played hide and seek. Again, I was a fourth grader and I enjoyed playing much more then I enjoyed work, just like any other fourth grader. I got into a little hot water during one episode of hide and seek. It all had to do with Carla Simpson. Carla was in 3rd grade. She was cute, shorter than me, very quiet yet quick of wit -especially when it came to giving me well deserved grief for some of my childish mischievous ways.  Most of all however and in my mine at the time, the mostest beautiful girl in the world.

We were in a hot and heavy game of hide and seek. The forest area, commonly referred to as “the woods” were always off limits to us elementary school kids. Saturday afternoons in the woods were reserved for the Junior and Senior high schoolers of the rural south. Anyhow we had plenty places to hide in, and I chose a spot behind an old 58 Chevy that was no longer running and sitting on top of four concrete blocks. I was tired on that day and really did not feel like searching hard for a hiding place. Nonetheless, I was having great fun. It was like I was hiding in plain sight. All the first graders, all the second graders third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders were out there and they all passed right by me without noticing me. All except Carla Simpson. She found me. Immediately, we began to throw verbal jabs at each other. “It figures” she snapped, “that you would find the easiest place to find you.”

“It figures you would be the only one to find me”, I responded.  We both were looking at each other and smiling as we taunted each other with barbs.  The more we taunted, the closer we became until finally, out of nowhere, we leaned toward each other and kissed.  It was just a light peck of the lips but electrifying for a moment.  Until.  “Ooooh, Ooooh Jerry kissed Carla!”  I heard from the chorus of voices right behind us!  “We are going to tell!  We are going to tell!” A few of my cousins and a few of the neighborohood kids who were running around during the high intensity high and seek game suddenly came upon us as we were pecking each other on the lips.  Now in retrospect, we kissed each other but the neighborhood kids interpreted the whole thing as me kissing Carla.  “Jerry kissed Carla!  We are going to tell!  We are going to tell! was the resounding chorus over and over again.  Carla was long gone by the second stanza of that chorus and I finally walked away towards “the woods”.

I figured that I was in hot water.  They would surely tell my mother, who just happened to have just arrived from the big city of Greenville.  (at least it was big in my eyes at the time, i would learn later in life that it was quite small).  My family had moved back to the big city after having spent a few years in the rural area outside of Columbia.  I was left with my aunt just to finish out the school year.  My mother had come down from Greenville for a few days to take care of some business.   There was no telling how she would respond if the neighborhood kids told her what I had just done.

I was in the woods looking for what my parents called a hickory.  A hickory was a small switch that some parents in the south used to enforce discipline, correction and mild punishment for misdeeds of children.  The less proper term was called a whipping.   The switch was a very thin, long twig from a bush with the leaves pulled off of it.  A whipping from a loving parent was mostly a mild stinging that hurt your feelings more than it did your flesh.

I was now in the woods, searching for the largest hickory I could find.  I found a small branch.  I did not bother to strip the leaves off.  I left the woods and walked straight to the house into the kitchen where my mother was stripping some collards from their stems.  I threw the rather large hickory on the table, looked at her and said, “Beat me now”.  My mother, stunned, looked at me and asked, “What?”  “Beat me now”, i said again.  “Ok, boy you need to tell me what this is all about”, she said as she glared at me.  “Beat me now”, I persisted.  “Child”, she responded, “you getting on my nerve! What is this about?”

“I kissed Carla”, I said.  For a brief moment there was a glint of a smile on my mother’s face.  She picked up the miniature tree limb, broke it in two and threw it into the wood pile and then said to me, now really smiling, “Boy get out of here before I kill you.”   ….and off i ran, hearing her chuckle in the background.

Stay tuned this weekend for the next chapter of “Jerry’s Patio Garden”.