I have a history with beans. A painful one, in fact. You see, it was my parent's quest in life to make my childhood miserable in the summertime. Their's wasn't quite a garden...it was a monstrous plot of torture. Every morning, for hours on end (keep in mind that is time measured by an 11 year old), I was required to weed. And this I did as all of my neighborhood friends looked through the holes in our wooden fence and felt sorry for me. Once a week, an entire afternoon and evening was spent sitting indian-style on a sheet in the living room, by the side of a gigantic mountain of beans, snapping, snapping, snapping. I hated those beans. And while my friends were enjoying lasagna, pizza, hamburgers every night for dinner, I had to endure beans, potatoes, zucchini, cucumbers and corn. All from the garden. I was quite a wretched soul.
Fast forward to forty. This year I decided it was time to make peace with gardening and Corbin and I went about creating lovely little plots and bringing in rich soil and compost to enrich our city dirt. I lovingly made little trellises for my pole beans and gently patted the seeds into the ground. I watered and wed those seeds, along with our cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, watermelon, peanuts, peppers and herbs. Before I know it, my beans were like rocket ships, shooting to the sky! I could hardly believe it. Everything grew quickly, and we were enjoying the fruits of our labors within several short weeks.
Each time my dad has visited this summer, he heads out to the garden. He looks around and shakes his head, obviously amazed that this beauty and bounty could come from his loathsome child. He is proud of me! It's quite awesome! And I realize that he is not just proud of my mad skills in the garden, but of the person he and my mother helped me to become.
And now the beans are coming on. The vines have grown as high as the fence, even have begun to climb our neighbor's tree! Yesterday Corbin picked a couple of handfuls, and I snapped them then made one of those dishes I disdained so much from childhood, beans and potatoes. It was heaven.
So thankful for my garden in the ghetto. And for parents who cultivated kids alongside their vegetables? Crazy-thankful.