The days of swimming, playing in the yard and going to the beach are upon us.
I won’t get to take an extended beach vacation this summer due to the nature of my job. I cannot afford to be away from the office for more than a day or two since I am the primary writer for this publication.
That’s OK though because there are plenty of ways to enjoy myself around the house. It reminds me of when I was in college at Mississippi State University. A friend and I converted his backyard into a golf course and waterpark. We called it Walden Hollow, and it was named after Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond.
That friend has since passed away, and he was a person who was full of life.
He was the third friend of mine who has passed away all too early in recent years. My college roommate also died a few years ago, and he was only in his 30s. And my best friend growing up also passed away recently, and he was in his early 40s.
It just goes to show that we don’t know when our final day on Earth may be. That is why we must take full advantage of every day of our lives. But that is easier said than done with all the work that consumes our daily lives. The key is to still enjoy life while we are doing necessary tasks, such as laundry, dishes and mowing.
My wife wants to plant a garden this summer, and it is not something that I am overly excited about. I view a garden as just more yardwork while others see it as a relaxing hobby. I figure I can simply buy all the fruits and vegetables I need at the grocery store without having to worry about watering a garden almost every day. At this time in my life, I am trying to eliminate chores, not create new ones. I hope I am not becoming lazy as I get older.
My dad, who also passed away at the young age of 53, loved gardening and did a great job at it. He worked for DuPont Agricultural Products in Vicksburg, and therefore had the expertise necessary to plant an excellent garden.
If I did raise anything in a garden I think it would be okra. I love fried okra and have often wondered why fast-food restaurants do not serve it as a side as an alternative to French fries. At the first newspaper I worked for out of college I did a story on an individual known as the “Okra Man” because he grew such tall stalks of okra. That was in Magee, Miss. When I worked in Magee, I also had the opportunity to cover the Mize Watermelon Festival and I put a picture of the watermelon queen on the frontpage of the newspaper. The watermelon festival even featured a seed spitting contest. One day I would like to make another trip to the town of Mize for the watermelon festival. Watermelons are a big deal in that part of the state, and Smith County, Miss. is said to have the best.
Yes, with so much to see and do in this lifetime we should use our spare time to do what we enjoy, not create more work for ourselves. I think I may try to eat watermelon and okra this summer. I think that would please Henry David Thoreau.