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My Grandpa Green, a farmer, only had one arm and hand which he could use. My Dad was born in 1916. By the time he was 10, he and his older brother were using the horses and mules to do most of the farming with the bottom plow, disk, and planter. Out of that experience my Dad picked up or developed several “wisdom sayings”.

The first one he taught me was, “Everything has a place. Put every thing back into its place after you use it. Then, you will know where to find that thing the next time you need to use it”. Yes, I have learned this wisdom the hard way. Ten years ago we retired and built our new home here in Rockport, Texas. I also built a large garden shed with a tractor garage. I designed a place for all my tools and machines. Yet, I have left a pair of pliers I need somewhere in the garage. I have left my 3 prong hand hoe on one of the garden fences. I have even left my keys in the tractor switch rather than putting them back in my pocket. Practicing this wisdom has saved me from much frustration and wasted time.

The second wisdom saying my Dad taught me was, “Do what you dread doing first. Otherwise, you will not be able to fully enjoy doing what you like to do”. My personality type lends itself to “putting off while I gather more information”, or what others call “procrastination”. As a teenager, I hated washing and drying the dishes. I would put it off to right before Mom or Dad got home from work. Dad would come in and say, “Why do you make yourself so miserable? You have taken an hour to do what I would have done in 15 minutes”. Nowadays, I put off using the 4 cycle weed eater. I dread getting the string and fuel put in the weed eater. Yet, the last time I used the weed eater, it only took 15 minutes to get everything ready to use it.

The third wisdom saying my Dad taught me was, “If you have got a job to do, do it right the first time”. I have added to this saying, “Otherwise, it may cost you to repair the mess you have made”. I have done all the recommended maintenance regularly in these 10 year on my Kubota tractor with the front end loader and mower. I have never had to take it in to the Kubota dealer. On the other hand, I have learned the hard way to call the professional to do some jobs the first time.

These sayings involve the Master Skills of “Taking hold, Holding on, and Letting go”. In other words, learn when to take the initiative, how to persevere, and know when a task is finished. These skills are used in tasks as simple as breathing, walking, and pulling weeds.

-Herman Green

8/9/2017    Garden Journals, Gardening Know-How