Marty's Garden, March 31st, 2018


With below normal temperatures stubbornly hanging around this late March there isn’t much to do in the garden. Instead I dive into my gardening books and make a trip down memory lane looking at pictures of the old garden. I also come across an old book; my “poetry album” from the mid-1960s. In Holland just about every girl had such an album and family and friends would write short little poems in it, preferably writing something about you. One of the poems I memorized decades ago. It was written by my uncle, my mother’s youngest brother, who always spent a lot of time with us when we were little. He died in a plane crash at 32 when I was 11 and I still miss him.  Another poem was written by my fourth-grade teacher, Miss. Staal. She was a wonderful teacher even though I wasn’t a very good student. The windowsills of her class room were full of plants and I got to water them most weeks. Before summer vacation started each of the students got to take a plant home and brought it back when school started again. She was a woman with whom I forged a friendship after leaving school and I continued to visit her during my trips to Holland. She even met The Spouse one year, heartily approving of him! These days when we go to Holland we always make a trip to my home town to say a prayer over my parents’ grave and to visit her grave as well as she is only a few rows over from my parents.  Her poem (loosely translated) reads as follows:


Dear Marty,


Befriend small things.


A flower in bloom,


birds singing,


a dancing butterfly.






Befriend small things


and you will be happy.


Funny how something written almost fifty-two years ago are the words I continue to live by and yes, it does make for a happy life.