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My Little Victory Garden…Became a Memorial Garden Garden

I check my garden every day.  Most days it needs water; rarely has it needed weeding of late.  Even weeds react to the hot weather, I suppose.

Yesterday, Oklahoma broke its personal record for the most consecutive days over the 100 degree Fahrenheit mark.  So, yesterday when I was checking my garden I looked at it long and hard and thought to myself:

“Okay, tomato plants…are you going to make it ’till fall so you can produce again? Peppers, you look long and spindly and – barren.  Eggplants, oh hey – I have one eggplant…surprise! Out of the eight fall okra stalks I planted, two didn’t get eaten by worms.  We mi-i-i-ght have okra.”  This internal chatter was going on in my head as I walked the length of the garden, assessing what was left and whether or not I should turn on the sprinkler for a bit or just hand water.

I reached the end of my garden and stopped.  A few days ago I had planted three rows of Chinese long beans.  My carpool partner, Dr. Liu, had given me a bag of beans and I wanted to see how they grew.  Last week I had put my summer compost stock on the garden and so I gave the beans the “special” garden plot, all freshly renewed with black gold.  When I reached that section, however, not only were the long beans making progress but so was about 50-100…? They looked like cucumbers, watermelon, squash, or something similar.  So the count was like this: Long bean, 5-10 little mystery plants, long bean, 5-10 little mystery plants.  Looks like my black gold was full of vegetable seeds that held on through the cooking process.

It was evening, and I was staring at a good sized weeding job.  Or was I?  Did I need to pull these little plants up just yet?  I wasn’t sure.  As I was standing there looking across about 18 square feet of composted garden covered in tiny sprouts my mind wandered back to the news I had just watched on T.V.  Oklahoma was losing soldiers more frequently this last month and I was overcome with helpless, desperate grief.  That emotion was what compelled me to leave the living room and walk outside in the first place.

As I studied the hundreds of sprouts, in my mind they began to turn into the hundreds of white graves I sat among when I visited Arlington National Cemetery a few years ago.  Continue reading My Little Victory Garden…Became a Memorial Garden Garden