, Port Arthur, Texas


May 11, 2013

Digging in dirt can help morale

PORT NECHES — There are things that seem to lift your spirit when you need it most.  People love to work in their yard.  I see someone digging in the dirt every day, while driving by.   Nothing can make you feel better than getting close to nature.  

I am a firm believer in this.  Even though I do not have a green thumb, I attempt to plant in the rich earth provided.  Now, not all of the earth is rich.  We have to help it out a little with a little extra top soil and fertilizer.  This is the only way I can make things grow.  I do add quite a bit of different kinds of fertilizer to the dirt when planting.  

No matter how much additives you put in the earth, sometimes it depends on how healthy your plant is.  A place I once lived had flower beds that had been there for years.  You could look at the soil and just know it was rich.  Someone, who had lived there before had built up the soil with a lot of nutrients.  I had a great time pretending I knew how to create a number of flowering plants.  

I am an admirer of beautifully landscaped yards.  There are those that hire someone to make it so.  Then, there are those that love doing it themselves.  I see the seasons change and always find beauty in a manicured yard with blooming flowers in the mist.  Let’s face it; some people just have a knack for generating the best looking garden.  

I lived across the street from an elderly man that was always out in his yard.  He was fiddling with flower baskets to a full-blown vegetable garden.  With our area only having summer and winter, as our seasons, it did not matter to him.  When I would leave in early morning, the man was normally out in his garden.  There was an area that he always used for his summer and winter garden.  It had to be rich earth, after many years of gardening.  I would admire this every single day.  

One day I walked over to their place and spoke to his wife.  I saw blooming flower pots all over and hanging baskets.  I complimented the magnificent colors coming from them.  The wife said that her husband kept them like that.  She said that he is always thinking of ways to improve on his methods of fertilization.  He feels that preparation of dirt is what makes the difference.  

She says that digging in the dirt is what makes him a happy man.  He will tell anyone that will listen to him to dig in the dirt.  He felt that, if everyone was to take his advice, there would be no devastation in the world.  The wife stated that when anything bothers him, he grabs a shovel.  

I do remember there was a time that this man was not working in his yard or garden.  I missed seeing him every day.  One of the neighbors told me that he had a stroke and was restricted.  It may have been a couple of months before I saw him again.  He had support of a cane, but he was out pulling weeds.  His wife was working right beside him.  I admired his determination to do what he loved.

My Mom used to love to work in the yard.  She did not have a lot of time to do this, with having all of her family to care for.  I have heard her say that she can forget all her problems when digging in the earth.  I do not know about you all, but this is something I put on the back-burner.  Unfortunately, I love beautiful blooming plants, but I can’t seem to keep them that way.  

I love to buy them already blooming and I sort of forget about them.  Not on purpose, of course!  Thank goodness not everyone is like me.  For those of you who make our world beautiful, I admire you.  This is one aspect no one can take away from us.  Our surroundings are what makes life worth living.

Fanny Morgan of Port Neches is once retired and now is a church secretary. Contact her at 

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