Childhood Memories

One of my earliest memories is of getting caught pocketing a packet of strawberry seeds at a nursery. I couldn’t have been more than four; not yet reading, but the outsized photo of a big, lush, red berry, full ripe and seed dimpled, had me salivating and imagining a dive into some fragrant, sweet, strawberry shortcake. I was driven to palm that packet, and when caught, was surprised to be punished, miffed as it went back in the stand. “No, you may certainly NOT have it! What were you thinking?!”

I believe everyone should have access to delicious strawberries and to all the beauty Mother Nature offers.

Around age nine, an ad in a comic book for packs of vegetable seeds piqued my interest (Make Money! Win Prizes!). If you bought 100 packets they would include a deep red enameled piggy bank in the shape of an old-time cash register. I bit; you should have seen the neighborhood gardens that year. The money made was stashed in that beautiful bank- literally, seed money!

Growing up on the East Coast we planted a garden every spring. I have warm memories of using a stick to etch lines the prepared soil, carefully placing seeds- marigolds, beets, lettuce, and of tamping down the dirt. Then the interminable wait for the miracle; carefully watering, checking almost hourly for signs of life. Imagining how the flowers would look and smell, what the carrots would taste like as we crunched into them.

No kid should go without the wonder of a bean seed sprouting from the dirt, be it in the ground, or a paper cup: the world would be a better place.


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