Growing up in the country, you are taught how to help in the garden. Every year as the vegetables begin to come in you realize the mornings of sleeping in must sadly come to a halt. Harvest is coming and it waits for no man…..or woman……or sleepy teenager. You are summoned out of bed given a basket and instructed to begin.
This was a normal routine for many years. It was one that was not my favorite. I would often dream of when I would be all grown up and leave my country life. I would make it to the big city. I would wear fancy shoes. I would attend important luncheon and life would be so fabulous! One particularly hot morning in the corn patch, I was vocal about my dislike for my current job detail. “I HATE the garden! When I grow up I will NEVER have a garden. I won’t work in one either! There are BEES and its hot and you can buy this stuff at the store!” I don’t remember the response I got from my declaration. Only that I was instructed to keep working.
I had long since forgotten that hot day until the Summer of 2016.
See, I did escape the garden. Off to college I went. Then followed marriage, children a house and life in the city. I made it! I was a city Mama. I ordered Starbucks. I chilled at the mall. I lunched and talked to grown up people and even got to wear a few pairs of those fancy shoes. Children got older, lives got busier and the heart started feeling a tug. A tug for home. Then the unimaginable happened. A chance to go home. To our roots, back to the country.
Country life welcomed us home with open arms and we embraced it too. We had the whole experience, horses, goats chickens. Then the ultimate challenge presented itself. A chance at farming. A new country dream was born. We would plant peppers! Lots and lots of peppers!
Purchasing Alabama Sunshine was a leap of faith. A whole new lifestyle. An entrance into the farming community. It was exciting and new. Suddenly, this past August, in the midst of extreme heat and awful drought my speech from the corn patch came flooding back to me. Standing in the pepper patch, suddenly I cried. It was 6am and I was hot and sweaty. I was picking peppers on my Grandparents land. The land they worked so hard for. They put their whole lives into making that land something and it WAS something. It had a new life. A pepper farm! Through my tears, I started to laugh. My speech so long ago rang in my ears. “I will NEVER….” Oh well, some of the best beginnings begin with laughter through tears.
Those fancy shoes weren’t that comfy anyway. Maybe we should get some BEES!