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Paddle Your Own Canoe
Chapter 22

Looping, drifting aimlessly, bits of cottonwood seed floated across the lawn. Their resting place was disturbed by the  powerful new  lawn mower of their very good  neighbors. Tiny pieces of the fluff lodged here and there on and in the row of cedar trees. It had been a good day and the beautiful weather of a June day topped it off.

Dee's daughter had prepared a small turkey for her Father. The meal was peaceful and so pleasant. Afterwards they cleaned up and both small families went their own way.

The blooming of the Yucca plants called to Dee.  She enjoyed picking the soft, delicate, white blooms.  They were washed and frozen and when the opportune time arrived she would let the children dissect them while learning of petals, stamen, and stems.

This had been a good year for their place. Suddenly the years of mulching, shovelling trenches to catch rain, fertilizing, planting of nitrogen rich  legume bearing trees were paying off. It was like the land awoke from a long sleep. While stretching its arms and yawning it was as if it burst forth in song, happy to be alive again.  Every part of it became productive. Where once plants simply rested at their place neither dying nor growing,  there was now instant growth.  The production and blooming of great bunches of flowers were striking.

The vegetable garden was the ultimate with cabbages literally thirty-six inches across at the bottom.  Tomato plants were already heavy with small fruit.  The winter onions were so heavy with little seed pods at the top many more were promised for that winter.

The Apricot trees had produced last year for the first time and tiny trees were growing all underneath. They sprouted from the fallen apricots of the year before.  These Dee  transplanted and they were taking hold. Something about the soil agreed with the Apricot trees. The leaves were always such a verdant dark rich green, adding   beauty where once there had been just a barren hillside.

She and Sam set in twenty-five sticks which were already showing growth of green leaves. These Poplars Dee had read about on the computer as to how they clean the run off rain water so that it goes into the streams and rivers cleaner.  In this way it gives a good environment for better, healthier fish.  Some complained the trees were short-lived but Dee was quick to let them know this was what they wanted. There were all sorts of ways to use wood from a dead tree. Having them mulched was one way. Using them for the fireplace was another.  All the while,  she was remembering how a very old Poplar tree at her grandmother's house where they lived early in their marriage after Grandmother  was gone fed their fireplace for a total winter.

Dee was given a message in humility when they visited a local greenhouse. There were houses and houses of  bright beautiful blooming plants.  One of the rooms supported a very large, expensive, water fountain she would have loved to have.  For the moment their small pile of rocks with a pump and trickling water had to do.  The clerk with an attitude was even forgiven when they,  themselves had to step  into the room filled  with  strong smelling soil treatments. After  micro miniature purchases, they left the ultimate gardening experience. There were  too many beautiful expensive plants in huge containers to compare with their very common landscape of wild flowers,  Echinacea, Mullein, Mint,  Wild Grape Vine, and Wild Cedars  Its only saving grace was the fact they, over the years, had not added chemical fertilizer, sprays or anything planted to require pampering.  Even with this,  the poor soil seemed to have taken an eternity to rest and be resurrected.

Like Jack and the Beanstalk the trumpet vine and wild grape vine was an inspiration as to how nature will keep trying to reclaim to undo what has been done to its Mother, the earth. In contrast to the careless ways of some former owners the people on Dee's street  were of another calibre. Each one of them in their own way and with dignity were working to do just as she was doing and that was to bring back beauty to what was once an old burned out wheat field.

The view she enjoyed as she looked out her front window spoke to her. There is a Mimosa tree in her neighbor's yard. It is heavy and rich with flowering pink blooms. The size is outstanding considering it was once a twig by comparison.

On both sides neighbors work diligently to own acres of lawns mown and lush. All this obtained with little more than ingenuity, work, and the will to keep trying regardless of examples others may set as to quitting.

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