Thursday, August 8, 2013

Gophers and Such

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This morning I was out watering my "garden", which consists of two pots. One has a tomato plant that has given us one under ripe tomato (which rotted before it ripened), and a another container that holds a lemon cucumber. The cucumber has produced well beyond my expectations. My local deer has made sure that the tomato will not produce any tomatoes.

(early in the year, just planted)

Back to the watering. As I was pulling the hose down to the plants, I noticed the gopher holes in the lawn. It took me back to nearly 50 years ago and memories of the garden my dad had planted.

After being retired at a young age (young to me, I have already lived passed the age when he died), he had a lot of time on his hands. He dabbled in restoring a few furniture pieces, was a super auto mechanic, and planted nearly an acre of garden. The garden held onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, cantaloupe, okra, and other plants I don't remember.

One of the banes of gardening was the many gopher holes that would appear here and there and the wilted plants where they had eaten the roots. My dad had a personal war going on with these little creatures. He would painstakingly follow their holes, trying to get to the end. He somehow obtained dynamite, (yes! dynamite!) and would blow up places he thought they lived. (We would probably be on a terrorists watch list now).  Flares that make a lot of smoke were pushed down holes and we kids (12, 10, and 9) were told to watch for the smoke and run over and cover the holes where it was coming out to smoke the creatures to death! Traps were set in known "runs". I don't remember ever seeing one dead.

Water was used also. The running hose was pushed into a hole and we were to run and cover up the wet holes wherever they appeared.

Now, keep in mind that my dad had a "heart condition". He had already had a heart attack and we kids were just waiting for the other shoe to drop. We would watch him get all sweaty and out of breath and then take out that little nitroglycerin bottle from his pocket that he carried everywhere. Anxiously, I would watch him pop one under his tongue and wait for it to "kick in". It always worked.  (He later died in his sleep without an audience).

I think that many times we, as parents and grandparents don't think that the kids know what is going on around them. Think again. Whatever stress you are dealing with in your life is going to affect them also. My parents never talked in front of us kids about how he could die at any time, but it was the elephant in the room. You walked around it, never looking straight at it, and pretended it wasn't there. A wise teacher and principal noticed a little lost girl and "created" a job of watering the principal's African violets. They also talked to my parents.

If you or your family is facing stress, loss of work, strained relationships, ill health, or change, go to the Lord of all, ask for help to get through it and include your children in your solutions. You may "take care of it", but if the children don't know, they carry the burden that you have laid down at the Savior's feet. Be sure, they know more than you think and they interpret what is going on in their own way.

Just a thought....