Why I Don’t Bother Gardening


A marker of life in many rural community is the fields – tobacco, corn, soybean. These are family owned fields that built the South, survived the Civil War, had slaves work them, and are on their 6th generation of farmers.  Some of the fields have several houses on them, splitting the land between generations. Occasionally, there is a “side yard” garden. These gardens can be up to 5 car lengths squared. When they are this large, the owners usually share their bounty for very low prices.  Sammy does this.

I’ve never met Sammy, but I know his garden. On the other side of town (2 miles), he sells out-of-the-ground  veggies. I make it my business to keep him in business.  I have an ineptness with growing food.  In summers past, I have spent $75 for three pots, dirt, plants, miracle grow on my harvest of 4 tomatoes the size of eggs, a few sprigs of parsley, lettuce that never came up and 1 squash. One. Squash.

I figure for $75, I can be Sammy’s best customer. Every year.

German Johnson tomatoes are more expensive than Romas. I get them because they have a cool sounding name. Like a farmer’s name who came from Germany.  I have no idea which are better or why.


Corn is $4.00 a dozen – but if you buy one dozen you get one free. A free dozen is always better than $2 for 12. Besides, if you only want a dozen, he still gets his $4. I like this guy.


Okra is $1.75 a pound. Not bad for a tiny fairly tasteless, slimy, seeded veggie – the staple of soups and all things fried.  It’s a bit like a cucumber got electrocuted and everything inside shriveled and turned white and slimy. Just for the record I HAVE had raw okra and grilled okra. Don’t do it.


Sammy trusts everyone. The “Honor System” box with chain is for “good personal checks”.  The money box, which is not chained,  always has extra $1’s in it for Yankees who bring $10 and only need $8 worth of produce.


Even if you don’t like squash, you get some because it’s $1 a pound.

One day I will pull up to Sammy’s house where the door is always closed, but a car is always there. I will ring the bell. He’ll be about 70 years young with huge cracked farmer’s hands, and lines etched in his face from the sun’s artistry.  He won’t smile when he talks to me and he’ll ask me where I’m from. I’ll tell him the other side of town and thank him for his veggie stand.







My “life GPS” functions well. Vacation now. Time for a house in 2.8 years. Good friend ahead. However, my location detector is often on sleep mode, if I even have one. There is not a hospital in existence that I could navigate without meeting four employees, some who just walk me where I need to go. Parking decks, major cities, and sometimes IKEA are the bane of my directional existence.

Let me introduce you to my husband, Kevin, aka Mr. GPS.

I have witnessed him in a city he’s never been to, drive in the correct direction, and navigate exactly to his location – pre-Garmin days.

He uses his car’s GPS and Siri (iPhone wife) just to see their “suggestions”. He forces a 4th route and the distance and time is shorter every time. I think Siri has learned the words, “Thank you for the correction, Kevin.”

He mentally calibrates every mile if he’s in the right location or not – AND hold a conversation with me about family drama.

He can’t wrap his head around my inability to understand that EVERY interstate and route that is even numbered goes East to West. Every odd numbered interstate goes North to South. Then I say “But I-95 kind of goes East to South, don’t you think.” Yeah, I take those questions elsewhere.

I have been in the car when he has taken a shortcut because of traffic. He quips, “Well, I haven’t been this way before, but I figure it will come out where we need it to.” Of course it does.

You know what would happen if I took a random road I’d never been on to get around traffic? We’d be 90 miles out of our way, find a great Turkish diner in the middle of nowhere, get invited to their kid’s graduation party, and be glad we got lost. AAA would escort us out the next day.

There are many other qualities and traits he has and over the course of the blog, I look forward to sharing these, but from here on, for the most appropriate of reasons, I will most likely refer to him as “Mr. GPS.”