I was 7 when my brother, Michael, was born. The day they brought him home from the hospital, I remember running down the hill from the school bus stop as fast as I could.
I had never been around babies and I was so excited. My sister and I spoiled him and it wasn’t long before he knew how to get his way.
I got married when Mike was only 10 and moved away to Indiana. He says he cried for a week. There was a period of years when we went our separate ways. When my husband died in l993, however, Mike started taking care of me. He bought me a woman’s study Bible and we prayed together, studied scripture and shared our feelings.
This summer Mike is out of work, like many others who lost their jobs at Freightliner, so he has had more time to visit, run errands with me and work in my yard. We have had such a good time, with a lot of laughs.
Mike was rearranging some things for me around the tree where I pot my plants. We discussed where the plumber was going to put a water faucet so I would have a place to wash my hands and water cuttings.
After I decided to treat myself to a two-tiered waterfall, I found out the plumber could use the same trench the electrician dug so I could kill two birds with one stone. It was cheaper this way so I felt I could justify this project.
I went in to fix us some lunch and Mike kept picking up empty pots and moving things around. We had picked up a big piece of discontinued carpet and he had put it on one side of the worktable, so it would cover some of the mud that existed there.
Did you ever design playhouses in your yard when you were a child? I used to do that, especially when I stayed at my grandparents’ home. I used rocks, sticks, tree limbs and anything else I could visualize to make a room. And now I’m almost 60 years old and there was my new play station.
Mike’s own imagination put everything together. There was an entrance wide enough for my scooter. The potting station was on my right and the big can with the empty pots was on the left. The pallets holding the bags of potting soil were in front of me and there was plenty of room to turn a corner to the right.
I find it is a good investment when Godley’s sells Daddy Pete Potting soil at buy three bags and get one free but I have trouble handling those heavy bags, so Mike fixed them so the dirt would fall right off into a pot for me.
He had moved the old picnic table under the tree where I could work facing the house, driveway and street. The neighbor’s pasture was behind me and the new water faucet was at the exit of my new play station.
In today’s world, my grandsons were real excited when they became owners of Play Station One and later Play Station Two. Well, now I have my own play station on the same order as those I dreamed up as a child and I love it. It sure was cheaper than those games the boys wanted.
Michael is so proud of how beautiful my yard looks and he should be because I have him to thank for going forward with my plans. Several folks have asked who my landscaper is. Well, the plans were formatted in my mind but I could never have brought it all together without Mike’s help and I love him almost as much as I love my yard.
I told him when something happens to me, he should come and get all the potted plants before the house goes up for sale. I wish I could leave the whole place to him but I doubt the bank would like that. He laughed and said he would sell his own house and buy mine because he is so comfortable here.
I pray that Michael can soon find a comparable job but we sure have had fun playing together in my yard and he has also helped me clean my house. I am so blessed to have Mike as a brother and my sister, Mary, who has also helped take care of me. Joe would be so proud! Both of them had promised him they would take care of me and they have been there through all the ups and downs I’ve experienced. I am so blessed.
Linda Beck lives and gardens in Woodleaf.