They both worked the garden all summer long. There were usually things to snack on throughout the summer. Each time I'd visit them while they were working in the garden, Mimi would point out what was ripening and send me home with something. There were 2 long rows of strawberries(Mimi made the best strawberry preserves), the blackberries were the biggest I've ever seen (or maybe I'm just remembering from a child's perspective) there were cherries on the cherry tree. There was a pear tree, but it was years before I noticed a pear on it. There were always huge, salty, red tomatoes. They grew asparagus, but I liked to pick the little red berries off the asparagus plants for my horse models. They looked like perfect mini apples. I'd sit out on the porch with Mimi, pulling the stringy ends off the green beans. Kale was usually on the dinner table every time we gathered there for dinner. The corn was silverqueen, silvery sweet, dainty little kernels. The grapes straight off the vines were a dark greenish purple, warm and sweet and juicy... I couldn't ever decide about the grapes, though. Was I supposed to eat the skin and spit out the seeds, or swallow the seeds and spit out the skin? I always tried them both ways. Equally satisfying. Not at all like the cold tart grapes I find at the store. The apple tree was right by the dock. It had golden apples ready to pick right before we'd head out on the boat.
At 99 years old, Grandaddy outlived Mimi by nearly 18 years. The garden is a patch of green grass now, the vines were cut down, the fruit trees are gone. At my sister's house, there are fruit trees and gardens and flowers everywhere... and, in her, our grandparents live on. I can still call her to ask questions like, "When should I plant this?" or, "How did Grandaddy plant the tomato plants?"
As I work on my little garden of 20'x30', it gives me some longing for my grandparents, but also warm feelings from happy memories. I used my horses to graze down the tallest grass, tilled it, hoed it, raked it, and then planted the veggies that I know I can grow... sort of. My daughter, Willow, helped water, while I spread out the straw to keep down the weeds or keep the mud down, or something like that... it looks tidy anyway. I planted kale, tomatoes, sweet onions, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, red, yellow and green peppers, and there's one asparagus plant came back from last year.