SNAPSHOTS an Excerpt from Pathways.

As I stare across my computer screen I can see my backyard framed like a photograph through the French doors leading out to our, for lack of a better word, patio. My wife has turned our backyard into a cluttered and jammed wildlife preserve–accent on WILD—and it is inevitable that I would think of my grandmother. Her “rock garden” was just as jammed with flowers of all types and sometimes with wildlife, too. All were thrown together in a helter-skelter manner. My favorite flowers were her tall and colorful hollyhocks. I have tried to grow them all but with not nearly the same success. Her backyard was just as tangled with privet hedge that had grown so high it had formed a canopy which seemed to form secret rooms. I think if I were to try, I probably could write a book about my grandmother and never run out of material in the lifetime I have left. I consider myself very lucky to have had her for as long as I did – almost forty-nine years as she died just a few weeks short of my forty-ninth birthday. I’m also greedy because I would have liked to have had her even longer.

As jammed as her rock garden was, her vegetable garden was not. Every morning she went out to the garden to chop down any weed before it could get a foothold or to hand-pick any critter that might chew on a leaf. This devotion is something I have a high regard for as I have moved toward organic gardening. Everything was quite orderly but her flowers were not. This difference was just one of several contradictions. One of the wisest and most well-read people I have ever known, she attended public school only until the eighth grade. She seemed to crave information but only if it didn’t interfere with time better spent in her garden. Even then, on rainy days, I would catch her gazing wishfully out the window. Most of her reading material revolved around her “Classics” – plant catalogs, crossword puzzles and religious materials including, but not limited to, the Bible. Despite being one of the most religious people I have ever known, she rarely set foot inside of a church and I wish I had taken the time to ask why. For some reason a belief the church might be filled with hypocrisy comes to my mind but that is my own cynicism showing. It might have just been she just didn’t like being cooped up. When we “stayed the night” due to our parent’s work schedule, she did not tell stories to put my brother and me to sleep. Instead, we played “finish the Bible verse.” To this day when I hear a parent tell a child to “Be Still”, I have to add, “…and know that I am God.”

Pathways can be downloaded on Kindle or purchased on Amazon using http://goo.gl/v7SdkH

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