This thought came to me as I was reading one of Jennifer Jewels’ pieces on gardening. You know, if I didn’t see my mother and my grandmother every time I looked into a mirror or catch a glimpse of them as I passed a store window, I’d have to entertain the thought that there was a mix up at the hospital when I was born.
I say this because my entire family, up to and including many of the in-laws, absolutely love to garden. For them gardening is entertainment, not a chore. Somehow that gardening gene just passed right over me with not even so much as a nod.
My attitude on gardening is, “eeewwww, dirt!”
My mother was fond of saying that if she were wealthy, she would never hire a gardener, she would hire a housekeeper and a cook so she could spend all of her time in the garden. And one of the fondest memories I have of my dad was waking up on a Saturday morning and hearing him whistle as he worked out in the yard. He would whistle long passages from classical music. He particularly loved the Rossini overtures. But then he also loved God, Arthur Fiedler (Boston Pops Orchestra) and Beethoven . . . not necessarily in that order.
Both my brothers (now in their late 80’s) love to garden. My one brother, who had open heart surgery last year, said he finally felt like he was beginning to be himself again when he was allowed to work in the garden once more. One sister-in-law, who was dealing with some serious health problems, was ecstatic when she felt strong enough to work in the garden. I believe her phrase was “I get to work in the garden today.” And my grandmother, who lived the last eight of her 94 years in a retirement home, was finally mollified into moving there when she was given permission to garden in the strip of land by her front door. . . and it was always spectacular.
I’m guessing that their attitude is much like mine was about practicing piano. (As long as I was practicing, I didn’t have to do dishes or help in the yard.) I didn’t have to practice, I got to practice. Yup, kinda like that.
Now don’t get me wrong. I LOVE flowers. I love fresh fruit and vegetables. I buy a lot of both. My analysis of this is that it is kind of like musicians. Where would we musicians be if it weren’t for the appreciative audience. I like to think that this is not dissimilar to my appreciation of all things growing.
So, it would appear that it comes down to this: you buy a ticket to hear me play and I’ll buy your fresh flowers and fruits and veggies. . .. you don’t ask me to dig in the dirt and I won’t ask you to practice scales.
Adrienne Jacoby is a 40-plus-year resident of Shasta County and native-born Californian. She was a teacher of vocal music in the Enterprise Schools for 27 years and has been retired for 11 years.
A musician all her life, she was married to the late Bill Jacoby with whom she formed a locally well -known musical group who prided themselves in playing for weddings, wakes, riots, bar mitzvas and super market openings. And, oh yes … she has two children, J’Anna and Jayson.