Keep it Simple Sweetheart

To say I was a daddy’s girl may be an understatement.

My parents adopted me when they were 40. That’s not such a big deal these days but, in the late 1960s, it was very rare for people to have children, or adopt children, that late in life.

As a child, my dad liked to show me photos from the family albums of him with dark hair. Then he’d show me the one pictured above (top right) and say, “And you showed up and it was so shocking you turned my hair white!”

I’m sure I was a handful. He had to build a fence around our Christmas Tree to keep me out (but that’s a story for another blog post…)

My father gave me many, many gifts. Growing up and observing his gentle wisdom, kindness and community-oriented approach to life certainly influenced me for the better. I hope.

But the gift he shared that has had the most surprising ramifications in my life is that he taught me how to garden. Growing food was our daddy/daughter thing. And gardening became deeply embedded in my soul as something beautiful, magical and full of love. And, most importantly, something to share with others.

Before my dad was my dad, he was a bad-ass paratrooper in the 11th Airborne during WW2. Like many of his generation, he served proudly and then quietly brought those lessons home to his family and community. He talked about the “KISS” principle a lot “Keep It Simple, Stupid” (as the army used to say) but he always said “Keep It Simple, Sweetheart."

Among many useful lessons, that might be the best. I try to apply it in life. But it definitely has a place in gardening. And that “Keep It Simple, Sweetheart” approach is what we’re bringing to City Grange. Our mission is to “remove all barriers to gardener success” and that’s all about keeping it simple.