Posted by: penpatience | May 1, 2019


WRITERS WORDS: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” –Native American Proverb

Note: “Banjo Man,” my fiction short story, has recently been published (May 10) on the Page & Spine Fiction Showcase. ( click on Story Index.



AH! Spring has finally sprung! The snow in upstate New York lingered far too long, but finally has melted away. Small shoots are pushing up through damp soil, shrubs are shedding their winter coats and barren branches, formerly dormant, are beginning to show tints of green and small buds that will soon become glorious, showy blooms.

I am a gardener. I’ve been digging, planting, and growing flowers and veggies too many years to count. I’m a lover of flora and fauna except when nuisance animals and pests attack my efforts. The birds have returned and I awakened one morning to two red cardinals flying into the bare branches of a backyard burning bush, a bright red vision against a still barren background. I eagerly await the emerging transition into a full blossoming, colorful spring!

I believe my generation was lucky. I learned from my parents the love of the land at an early age. My grandfather owned a parcel of land located behind our family home where my Dad grew vegetables—tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, lettuce, and garlic. We had perennial rhubarb that came up every year, berry bushes where I often got poison ivy and scratched fingers when picking raspberries and black berries. We had a grape arbor, an apple and peach tree and a fresh salad graced our supper table every evening. I find myself smiling when I see “organic” labeled foods in the super markets. I grew up with healthy home grown food free of pesticides. AND, oh wait! Did I mention we had a chicken coop Dad built behind the garage? We had chickens and fresh eggs were only a short walk away. Sadly, and thank goodness I never paid attention, older hens that could no longer lay eggs…..ended up in Sunday dinner.

What I do find encouraging is a resurgence of community gardens. Residents in many different towns and cities are planting, sowing, weeding and sharing produce among themselves and neighbors in need. Greenmarkets have sprouted in many counties where, once a week, farmers get together and bring home grown vegetables, flowers, baked goods and even prepared foods for sale at reasonable prices.

These past years I’ve learned to appreciate the myriad species of plants and animals sharing our planet. Many species I most likely will never see, but I’m amazed at their unique existences throughout the world. I am not an over-exuberant environmentalist, but I embrace our country’s Native American Tribes respect for Mother Earth and realize we must preserve and protect wild habitats, National Parks, clean water and natural crops for future generations. (PS: The Wolf is my favorite wild animal.) A few years ago I had the opportunity to chat with a matriarch of a local farm in existence for over 100 years. She made a comment to me that was, “Oh so true “and I never forgot. She said, “You can eat crop, but you can’t eat cash.”

And readers, “Please Don’t P*SS on the Petunias.”  This past year, I was pleased to be one of many beta-readers for a first draft of the above referenced book written by Sandra Knauf, Greenwoman Publishing ( The book is a collection of stories and essays about raising kids, crops and critters in the city. It’s engaging, edgy and often hilarious and now available at Amazon. 

Dear Readers & Writers: HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL!

Have a Green Spring!



  1. This is a great spring article, calling all to the green awakening. I love your title.


    • Thanks Carole, I always enjoy hearing from you and welcome your comments. Frances


  2. I loved this, Frances! So true and I loved that you grew up with fresh veggies and chickens! I always enjoy your musings. Hope to see you soon!


    • Hi Pat, Thank you for the lovely comment. Yes, I look forward to seeing you and the group very soon. Best wishes, Frances


  3. Thank you so much for the “Petunias” shout-out, Frances! I love all that you wrote on your May Musings. Oh, what a rich life we have when we grow at least a little of our own food and bond with Nature. ❤


    • Hi Sandy,
      I don’t know how I missed this comment to respond. I hope “Petunias” is selling well.


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