Photo taken about a month ago… early spring, fresh leaf mulch
Growing up in Oakwood, Ohio, a quaint little neighborhood just south of The University of Dayton (where I would later fall in love with my wonderful Andrew) was a little like growing up in a story book. People took care of their homes and gardens and as children, we had free reign of the entire community, which in my neck of the woods included an elementary school and a library literally across the street from my house; a swimming pool and playground a few blocks away, a really great gourmet grocery store within biking (or roller skating) distance, and loads and loads of friends close by. My parents sacrificed a lot for us to live there and attend the incredible public schools. After all, my father was a professor of photography and fine art… not a millionaire. But I’m so grateful to them for that childhood.
It was such a wonderful place to grow up that I think I took it for granted. Or just falsely assumed that there were a lot of places like it. Maybe there are. But I have lived many places over the past 10 years, and can still honestly say that my childhood city was one of the very best.
Something about that place has stuck with me. Lots of things, really. But the amazing gardens are a big part of me now. Somehow, I find myself plunged up to my elbows in dirt on a pretty regular basis most months out of the year. It is a lot of work. Work that I love. The mulching two or three times a year. The weeding, and planting, and leaf-removal. It all culminates in such a sense of satisfaction to me. It’s really good old-fashioned manual labor that I love. And if I had my way, I could spend hours of every day tending to flower beds and vegetable gardens. I assume I will once all three boys are in school…
… but there’s no rush on that. Now if I can only get a certain neighbor’s cat to stop crapping it in, we’ll be set!