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View Diary: Terra Firma or Why We Better Start Getting Dirty (112 comments)

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  •  I think gardening helped my mom live to 92. (3+ / 0-)

    My mom grew up on a farm, and even though we lived in suburbs all my life, she always had a garden. Always.

    After my dad died when they were both in their 50s, she used the garden as therapy, to keep from thinking about her loss, and she grew the most magnificent vegetables, fruits, nuts, and flowers. It wasn't until years later that she confided in me that she spent so much time there to heal.

    She went into a nursing home a few months ago, but she is one of 10 kids and all the rest are dead or dying, and she's really doing pretty well. She had to go into full time care because she's on oxygen and kept stopping breathing in the middle of the night. Nobody could watch her full time, so she elected the nursing home -- but she's the most lively resident there!

    She also let my three siblings and me play in the dirt all of our childhoods. A very wise old doctor told her that her kids were like "little hothouse flowers" protected from the "good germs," so she let us play in all kinds of landscapes that nowadays moms and dads freak out about letting children loose in. I let my own kids play in the dirt too, remembering the doc's advice, and they were pretty healthy. No asthma or respiratory issues like many of their friends, and even their step-siblings.

    I feel better when I garden too. My biggest problem is that I live in Central Texas now, and for the last two years, nearly everything I plant dies from the heat. I would garden more if the weather wasn't such a drag. Hoeing a row in 100-degree-plus heat isn't very fulfilling.

    Wonderful diary! Yay, dirt!

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:13:38 AM PST

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