Peter’s no hero

Who does he think he is, anyway? I’ve absolutely had it with Peter. Sorry to vent, but I just have to tell someone before I scream. I actually caught him in the act, and it made me furious. By the way, Peter is a wild rabbit.

Those who know me well understand my love for gardening and in particular growing my own vegetables. Not only do they taste so much better than grocery store fare, but the garden sure helps the budget. If I can put away some of my fresh produce, I can enjoy the savings throughout the year.

Unfortunately, Peter does not agree, and he has made it his mission to demolish half of my plants. It matters not that my garden incorporates approximately 256 square feet and that directly behind it is over 320,000 square feet of wild land filled with grasses, raspberries and other wild delicacies, all of which, according to the Internet, are actually more beneficial to his health than the plants he’s eating from my patch. They are certainly plentiful and easier to access to satisfy his voracious appetite as well. He does not even have to chew threw a heavy plastic fence to get to them. But no, his only concern is trying to take what he thinks is best at the moment. He has neither logical rationale nor consideration and respect for my efforts, needs and desires. It’s all about his agenda. Maybe he works for the government.

Though this true account is totally frustrating, I suppose the timing of it is appropriate as it makes me begin to think of the 4th of July celebration and our country’s founding fathers. We remember their character, strength and life-giving sacrifices to provide freedom for us. They planted seeds of patriotism and independence providing us a harvest of rights that have proven themselves for over 230 years. Perhaps on this Independence Day, our Declaration of Independence should be renewed in the hearts and minds of every citizen. John Quincy Adams says it well. “Posterity – you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” We must remember because if we become lax in our vigilance, others will come in to tear down what we have sown, even undermining the protections we’ve put into place.

As we prepare our barbecues and fireworks, let’s reflect on the yesterdays that made our country great before it is too late. Former President Woodrow Wilson provided this warning. “A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about.”

We need to look back and remember in order to foil the victory of those who would like to sabotage our garden of independence.

First strawberries

When it comes to weather, you take what you get. Yet if I could order a perfect day, I’d order the 75- degree, blue-skied beauty we enjoyed today. And besides the glorious conditions, I picked my first strawberries of the season. My yield thus far is only one cup, but the strawberries are nice and range in size between a nickel and a quarter. Considering where I started, this is huge!

I began my patch three years ago. Each year the plants multiplied and the berries increased in size, but last year I experienced problems with bugs, depleted soil and a horrific weed, which I call Satan’s counterfeit. I was able to deal with the pests and build up the soil with fertilizer, but the bogus berry was another issue.

This weed not only grows in the same plot, it sets its roots so close to the real strawberry plant that it is difficult to separate them. I lost some of my best plants trying to do so. The weed’s leaf appears almost identical to the real plant, and it flowers and bears fruit that resembles a smaller version of those I’m seeking. The problem is the fruit on these counterfeits is very bitter. Take my word for it. You don’t want it in your garden. It will take the best nutrients from the soil and choke out the good plants. I was hoping that last year I’d have enough berries to make jam, but instead the weed prevented the good plants from producing at all. Once I discovered what it was, I tried to remove it, but it’s a sneaky devil. If it has an inch, it will take a mile. It took a lot of work to get it out and even with my best effort, a remnant remained.

I’m sure botanists have a scientific name for this sham of a strawberry, but I chose the name Satan’s counterfeit because it illustrates how Lucifer tries to get close to those who trust Christ as their Savior. Satan appears as an angel of light but the fruit that results from following him is as bitter as wormwood.

For me, gardening is more than a pleasant past time or stress relieving therapy. I love it because of the life lessons I learn. In this case, I want to be sure to follow the Lord because it’s too costly in life and the garden to choose Satan’s counterfeit.