The Garden


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When we first escaped and moved into a fixer upper with an absentee landlord, money was scarce. Thankfully my eldest daughter had recently completed college and blossomed when given the freedom to spread her wings. She wholeheartedly dove into the process of providing healthy and plentiful food for the family. Feeding seven hungry people, two of them teenage athletes, on as little as possible takes extreme creativity and resourcefulness. It is a credit to her that we ate better throughout that time of little than we do now in our too busy time of plenty.

The interwebs are a splendiferous thing, and she is of that curious kind, that has the ability to hold a single focus for an extended period of time. These two resources put together, infinite information and single-minded determination, make a fearsome combination, and create limitless innovations.

I loved coming home from a long day at the office and making the tour to see what wonders had been accomplished that day. It could have been anything from learning how to bake something new, the acquisition of a new creature that could contribute to the food chain, maybe a new renovation to better utilize the too small space we were happy to call home, or my favorite, an additional square foot cultivated to produce yummy goodness.

During this time my daughter learned electrical repair, plumbing repair, carpentry, roofing, urban homesteading, cooking supremely from scratch, how to be a new mother, how to homeschool her siblings, how to make a mean loaf of bread, how to start a home business and the most gratifying for me, self-confidence galore. So much so, that to this day, when she is given grief for supposedly not reaching her full potential by using her mathematics and physics degrees, she will only smile a little and let it go, because what she does do is inspiring, even if it is not apparent to them.

There were many factors that played into making all this possible for her, an absentee landlord of a neglected property, homeschooled helpers, the Interwebs, a simple basic need of it, but I think the biggest incentive was freedom. Freedom from criticism, freedom from unjust punishment, freedom to try the unknown without the constant drip drip drip of what a failure you are, freedom from having to be perfect and then no matter how stellar an accomplishment was to be told you could have done better, freedom from having to constantly take the blame for someone else’s failures, because, you see, freedom can provide someone the opportunity to bloom where they’re planted, and that should never be taken lightly.

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