Saturday, June 28, 2014


This post is dedicated to my Mother Bette. Last Wednesday would have been her 90th birthday.
     Our house had a brick planter on the front porch. Mom always made sure what ever she planted in that box had lots of color. She said that was the first thing a visitor would see when they come to our home.
 We lived in the city of roses Portland Oregon. Mom loved roses, but she hated the stickers. She only have a couple of roses in the front yard.

   About half of our very large back yard was a garden. We had about every kind of vegetable growing as well as some fruit. We had three rows of berries each row wash about 30 feet long. We did not have to buy any produce all summer.
in 1965 we got a new next door neighbor. They where a Chinese family. There was an elderly couple we called them grandma and Grandpa Mah. She never did speak a word of English and he spoke broken English. Their Son also lived there with his Son who was my age. He was a single dad as he was widowed. Grandma and Grandpa dug up about half of their lawn and planted a Chinese vegetable garden with seed they brought with them from China. For many years they traded Chinese vegetables for American vegetables across the fence. Each of them explaining what they were in their native languages, neither one of them understanding the other. We grew raspberries, so one day Mom gave grandpa some. He fell in love with them and always asked Mom in his broken English about her "Lassbellies" That is what I always think of when I eat raspberries. Grandpa passed away in the early eighties, Grandma tried to maintain the garden on her own but her health was failing as well. She died a year or two later. The Son has tried to maintain some kind of a garden, but nothing like his parents did. He still lives there with a granddaughter. I lokked on Google earth a while back, my mothers garden on gone now, there is a swing set and a large shed where our garden was.
Our neighbor on the other side of us had a half acre lot. It was just he and his wife, they were both working professionals that did not have time for a yard. They had seven fruit trees in their back yard. They told us that when the fruit was ripe to help our selves as it would go to waste otherwise. Every fall we had three kinds of pears, walnuts and peaches. I had to plant a pair tree in my yard, there is nothing like fresh pears.
When I was growing up we had a Sumac tree in our back yard. it was the only non fruit tree we had. I was Moms favorite tree. She loved the red comes and the brilliant shades of orange that it turns in the fall. She grew her tree from a start she got from her Mom and Dads home. Within a week of coming back to Boise after her funeral Nancy and I wend out and bought a Sumac tree for our yard. We put it right in the middle of our front yard for everyone to see. I know that no one besides my family knows that is why the tree is there but it means a lot to me. 

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