He was a city boy. Born in the city and grew up in the city. I mean the inner city where row houses are the norm and there are no front porches, just a stoop.
He recalls tales of playing in the streets because he had no grass in his bricked back “yard.” Those were the days when kids could roam around a city unafraid of kidnappers, child molesters, drug dealers, or anyone to do them harm. He and his friends played at the nearby river or ran the halls of the Capitol building as he grew up in our state’s capital city.
I was a country girl. Born and raised outside a small town in a very rural setting. I lived in a two-story white country home with a huge front porch, complete with porch swing, and played in my multi-acre yard. My neighbor friends and I would stay outside until after dark with no fear of people; just meeting up with a skunk was our biggest concern.
I met this city boy in college and we clicked instantly. I soon fell in love with that tall, quiet, almost shy young man with the nickname “Smiley,” and amazingly enough, he fell in love with me.
After three years of dating, he proposed, we married, and he whisked me off to military life. Following our stint as a military family, we settled down to life in the suburbs where my husband traded his officer’s khakis for a suit and tie every day. We became parents to three terrific kids and my husband proved to be an awesome father.
During those years, city boy became a suburbanite, learned to take care of a small lawn, mowed, and planted shrubs and flowers. He seemed to relish in that activity when he found time from his busy career.
Life changed drastically 14 years ago. Jointly, we made the decision to move back to our home state, to my rural neck of the woods actually, as we were tired of suburban life and living on the other side of the country from our families.
My city boy turned full time country. We had our new home built on 2 ¼ acres of what once was farmland. Suddenly, my city boy was riding a John Deere lawn tractor to mow the grass. He not only was planting shrubs and perennial flower gardens, he was planting trees, digging drainage ditches, and building things. And he seemed quite happy to do so.
Then one day, he announced he was going to plant a garden – a vegetable garden. And he unearthed a small plot of ground. We enjoyed leaf lettuce, tomatoes, green beans and green bell peppers that year.
City boy turned country gardener. Each year, the garden plot enlarged and he tried new plants, including berries. My hubby pores over gardening magazines and seed catalogs and he thoroughly relishes digging in the dirt.
Thanks to his hard work, we enjoy our own red raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries. His garden delivers fresh veggies every summer – cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, leaf lettuce, snow peas, green beans, green peppers, carrots, radishes, even brussel sprouts. We’ve had sweet potatoes and watermelon and this year, he’s added asparagus, garlic, cantaloupe, and zucchini.
Yes, my city guy’s turned country and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Today in my book called Opportunity, we will celebrate his birthday and I will give thanks for my city/country husband.
Happy Birthday with love to my favorite gardener. I’m so glad God planted you here with me!
“There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.” ~Mirabel Osler
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