Getting Dirty.

"The glory of gardening; hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.  To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul." ~ Alfred Austin

I love this quote.
And for me, it is so true!

We've been living in this here our new abode for 8 months now, and the thing that I absolutely miss the most - other than my dear, sweet neighbor Lew - is my garden.  That thing was big, and it was beautiful, and it's where I fell in love with the miracle of growing things and of living off the land.  Up until that garden and up until that sweet little old man - I had never planted one thing in my life before, nor had I any desire to do so, and I knew nothing about canning, pickling, or preserving.
Peas.  And I can't sow a straight row to save my life.
 Those four years in that huge garden plot are where I learned so very much, and they are some of my happiest memories to date.  I loved being outside, and I loved watching everything grow.  I loved the picking and the pickling.  I loved the conversations that Lew and I had, and I loved that my boys knew and appreciated where good food came from.  In the move, I just figured that was one of those things that I was just going to learn to let go of, and find something else to replace that love of playing in the dirt with my kids.

The owners here have seven raised beds that they used for gardening, but with our housemates being the ones who are here for the long haul - I was more than happy, and fully expected them to have first dibs on the planting.  A few weeks ago, however, Shandy said to me:  "You should just plant whatever you want in those beds.  I don't think I'm going to use them this year."

Initially, I didn't bite.  I won't just have my three Hoolie boys to contend with trampling and drowning watering my veggies - I will now have five Hoolie boys....and 1 wee Hoolette of a baby girl, who can easily get herself into just as much trouble as they can.
On the loose.  In my garden.  In her jammies.
What, Mama?
 Add to that this crazy beetle problem that ate up all of Shandy's veggies last year....along with the deer population that helped themselves to some little nighttime snacks....and I just wrote the whole thing off as a "Nah. The gardening season of my life is over for a couple of years."

Enter my husband who says:  "Are you kidding me?  You're not going to plant one single thing this year?"
And I suddenly found myself in the seed packet aisles, shopping away to my little heart's content.
Funny how that happens...

Last week, we got our hands...and a whole lot more than that dirty.
We put in all of our cold weather veggies - and oh goodness.  Didn't playing in the dirt with the sun at my back and the ground under my fingernails ever make me happy.

We have downsized significantly....but we are planting what all of the Littles love best.
And I don't have a Lew...but I have all of his wisdom.
And the beetles might win...but my heart is still happy.
So, often I have found - that when I give up things that I love most....the Lord remembers.
And He gives back.  And so often, it's just the little things - the simple things that make my world go round.

My chickens roaming free.
Salad veggies...and all things good to eat right, straight out of the ground.
Little ponds in the back woods for little boys to find newts and frogs' eggs.
Long, long driveways for endless peddling.
Swingsets, and playlands - forests for adventuring.
Big backyards to run wild and free.
And priceless little gifts from precious little hands....

#5176 ~ 5182 - My Joy Journey
"All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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