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My father grew up in what was then Pennsylvania farm country, and my mother grew up in a family of serious gardeners. So, we grew up with gardens large and small, depending on our abode. I have been enjoying and sharing Xuefei Yang’s series of recordings from her backyard over the past two months. The setting makes me think of my parents’ back yard, which is mostly garden.
The mugs hanging in the kitchen read “Head Gardener” and “Undergardener.” Mom is the head gardener, and Dad has enjoyed decades of assisting her and getting satisfaction from the results of their labors. From the early days with a two-wheeled Gravely tractor busting sod in a big back yard for our first big vegetable garden, to today when he still wrangles bags of composted steer manure into long-established plant beds, Dad is the brawn to Mom’s gardening brains. That has been part of his life-long example to us of loving and honoring his wife. We kid him about wearing shorts year-round, but his life-long discipline shows in cannon-ball calves as he progresses through his eighth decade.More