Doug Creamer column: Planting hope

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 4, 2022

By Doug Creamer

It has been a tough year for many home gardeners. We had some late frosts and cold spells. I was late getting started. When I had time, it was either too cold or raining. When the weather was good, I was busy with other things and couldn’t get to my garden.

Over Memorial Day weekend, I finally finished planting my garden. I put some things out at the beginning of May and they are up and growing. I saw my first tomato blossoms. I put in a number of seeds yesterday and now I am excited to see them come up.

I am trying an experiment this year. I have four raised beds for my vegetables. I tilled two of them earlier. I never got around to tilling the others up. The leaves from last fall are still lying on top of the soil. I didn’t have time to till and I have heard people say it is better not to till the soil. For the remaining two beds, I just pushed the leaves back and planted. It felt wrong, but I had to get my garden planted. I will let you know how it turns out.

In one of those beds that I did till early I had hoped to plant my peas. I know peas like cooler weather. I never had the time to get them in. While I was working, I was trying to decide if it would be worth it to plant the peas. I have the space and decided to plant them.

As I planted those peas, I thought about why we plant gardens. We plant them because we are hopeful for a good growing season and harvest. It’s hope that sends me out to the garden each day to see if those little seeds sprouted. I believe and am hopeful.

I realize it takes more than hope to get a harvest. It takes watering, weeding and keeping the pests out. We need to remember to add fertilizer and lime if we want the conditions to be right for a harvest. My mouth is watering just thinking about what will happen if everything works right.

Hope is a powerful force. It drives me out there each year to try again. Some years are successful and I enjoy a bountiful harvest. Other years we get heavy rains and the potatoes drown. The rabbits, squirrels and deer enjoy the harvest instead of me. But I will go out each spring because I hope that I will get to enjoy the harvest.

Memorial Day is when we remember all the men and women who went to fight and defend our nation and did not come home. One has to imagine that they gave their lives in hopes that their children and grandchildren could live in peace and harmony. They died as Americans defending our ideals and principles.

Sometimes I wonder what is going on? One political party hates the other. How is that united? Families suffer from gun violence in our schools and communities. Where is the peace? There is social injustice in a land that was built on freedom and justice for all. We are divided over how to fight a virus that has claimed a million American lives. These and many other things divide us and keep us from what the people we honor on this day died to protect.

But me, I like to find hope in the midst of the darkness. I think about neighbors reaching out to help one another in times of need. I think about all the people who rush to the aid of those who are suffering a tragedy, like a hurricane hitting our coast. I think about the many Americans who have gone to Ukraine to feed and clothe the refugees. I think about the many Americans who donate blood in times of tragedy. I think about the people who work with hospice to help in someone’s final days. I think about the police, firefighters and EMS workers who come to help without asking or caring what you think or believe.

I want to encourage you to look for the good in other people and to be a part of those who are planting hope. Love and hope have always defeated the darkness in this world. We need to focus on the good. For those of you who have lost family and friends while serving this great nation…I thank you and honor you. Let’s all work to change our corner of the world for the better. I believe that at our core we are a great nation filled with good people. God bless America, and fill us with faith, hope and love.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or