Pages

Green thumb skillz

Green thumb skillz. My very first job at 14 I didn’t get paid for. I was at a childhood friends house in the middle of July. Her neighbor had come over to ask if one day she could pull a bunch of weeds out of her yard and she would pay us 15$ a piece. Seemed reasonable in the early 80s with no choice as we were too young and unskilled to be hired for anything. You wanna make a buck Gina replied?.. sure! I said.. So we went out to this two acre field and proceeded to pull weeds for what seemed like an eternity in the blazing July summer heat. The old woman watched from the windows pulling at the curtains... seeing if we were doing a good job. She never came out to offer any water in her comfortable air conditioned house. I was getting picked up soon by my parents so I had to leave. Gina said she would settle up with her. September came and after several attempts of asking, the old woman never paid us for our hard labor. I’d imagine she had duped plenty of neighbor’s kids to do work and then stiff em. By the following summer I had landed a job in the mall but even now in our 40s I still reflect and bring it up to her. Which then leads me forward to this present day. The notion and dream from decades ago was a white picket fence, a manicured lawn, and a driveway. Most families have less and less time for leisure now and cutting your own lawn seems more like a chore. Lately while driving, I have seen a steady supply of women on the tractor, not men. Perhaps its a getting things done factor. Young and an older females are taking the mowing in stride, pleasantly cutting the field. A pastime that seemed to reflect a “mans” job has now become easily been shown as any genders. I started out with that unpaid job of weeding years ago and somehow the act of gardening took. I went on to become a volunteer master gardener for our local penn state chester county office and learned a lot. We have our own small plot of land that I weed and feed and tend to daily. Its a private oasis in the center of a small steel town. It never fails though when someone steps into the yard..they steer right to my husband and say wow, this looks great! He corrects them judiciously and with a grin says.." nope..this is all Michelle’s doing." Forget tea time and white gloves and peaking through the curtains. The dirt in my nails and the green of the plants play like a living canvas that turns color with each season. I’m glad I don’t have a lawn but I’d imagine if I did I’d be on the tractor cutting the field driving it in circles in a zen like state.