Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Slice of Life: My Daddy Was a Master Gardener!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Dana, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Lisa, and Melanie
                    for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

Even though my Daddy died when I was 25 years old, he's still a part of my life.  He taught me important life skills - fill the tank when it's half empty (which I don't always do in town, but religiously follow when I'm on trips), ask questions and stay curious about the world around me (I stopped today just to ask some workmen threading a plastic line underground what they were up to - turns out they're laying conduits for future needs), and celebrate summer sweetness with homegrown tomatoes.  

I haven't always managed to grow my own tomatoes, but I'm doing it this year.  I planted late, in mid-June.  My daughter Sara and I managed to snag the last few plants at Home Depot.  I planted them in pots on the driveway where they can get the maximum sun exposure.  And now I'm watching the weather reports, hoping for dry sunny days so all the green tomatoes will get enough sun to burst into summer color.  I have two pots of yellow cherry tomatoes (Sun Gold Hybrid) and one pot of Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes.  

When I check on their progress, I revel in their star status.  Check out the green stars on the top of each tomato. 
I love to caress the plants and then inhale the tomato fragrance (essence of summer) on my hands.  
I've actually found some red fruit tucked near the bottom of the plants and enjoyed five fruits of my labor so far.  

I'll continue to hope for fewer clouds and more sunshine so that my tomato plants will flourish, I can savor the burst of sweetness daily, and even share a few with my friends.  I think my daddy is glad to see his granddaughter encouraging her own tomato plants this year.  (She called me in a panic this morning when she discovered the wind had blown over one of her pots.)  Whether I'm watering the pots, caressing the plants, or hoping for more sunshine, I always feel that my daddy is walking beside me, nodding his head, and encouraging my amateur gardening skills.  And that's a good feeling!


  1. This is a wonderful memory, Ramona. I love hearing about your father, & didn't know he passed away when you were so young. I've always heard that the plants you love most will flourish, that there is some connection they feel. Obviously your caresses are helping! I love that you pointed out those stars!

  2. I love that the tomatoes bring your dad right back to you! I adore home-grown tomatoes! I have a few plants but they are still sporting their green coats and we've had plenty of sunshine. Sigh, one day they will turn red.

  3. My mom loved to grow tomato plants every summer, too. It made her think of Grandad's farming. She really missed the green beans he grew and said she never tasted any others as good.

  4. My dad liked to garden too. What a great reflection. I miss growing tomatoes but we are gone too much in the summer.

  5. I so enjoyed reading your post! What wonderful memories! How blessed you are with a daddy like that!

    1. And I love how you said you can still feel him walking beside you and encouraging you.

  6. I loved this post - from your first line on! What wonderful memories you have - and are making. :-) Wishing you the perfect sunny days for your tomato plants!

  7. I'm not much of a gardener but that doesn't stop me from being completely amazed by the miraculousness of growing plants and vegetables. I mean first there's nothing and then there's something and you can EAT it. Wow, right? I love the way you wove in this learning with what your father taught you.

  8. Such a lovely post about memory and love, Ramona. I am envious about your tomatoes - mine look weak and sickly by comparison.

  9. Your tomatoes look beautiful and bountiful. I love the picture with the green stars. I've never viewed them that way, but I like it! Fingers crossed that the sun will make an appearance soon!

  10. Ramona, you got the beginnings of a summer poem in this post, titled Essence of Summer:
    I love to caress my plants,
    Inhale the tomato fragrance on my hands,
    savor the burst of sweetness daily.
    I always feel that my daddy is walking beside me.

    Love your memory and I hope my husband's tomatoes bring us much joy as yours will.

  11. Ramona, I'm so jealous. Reading your words and savoring the images of tomatoes on the vines made me smile and I honestly could smell the sweet scent of fresh tomatoes. I have not planted a garden for years and it honestly is the tomatoes that I miss the most. Thank you for taking me down this road. :-)

  12. Loved this post. It made me think of something my father always said to me: always tell the truth, no matter the consequences. I live my life by this lesson. Enjoy your tomatoes!