Publisher’s Corner

Walking The Yard and Look Out It’s Roof Ball Time!

My 6-year-old grandson Jackson and I spend a lot of time walking around our yard talking about the plants, animals, insects and just life in general. Special moments for both of us. “Hey, Hopete (that’s what he calls me), how come you don’t have any tomatoes?” We both stand next to the garden with four tomato plants without any fruit. “Well, Jackson looks like the squirrels have taken our tomatoes again,” I tell him as nicely as possible without saying how I really feel about the little varmints. Jackson goes to the rain barrel and fills up his watering can. “I am going to give the sunflowers a drink,” he says moving on from the tomato disaster to the brightly colored sunflowers, heads turned toward the sunset. “Which one is mine?” he asks. Jackson got a sunflower sprout in school and we planted it. It didn’t make it but some of the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds I planted came up strong and I just tell him one of those is his. He seems to be happy with that. “Hey, Hopete, what are those?” he asks pointing to a plant climbing up the fence behind the garden. “Those are Heirloom beans,” I said proudly, happy that something in my garden produced. “Guess the squirrels don’t like beans,” I said sarcastically. Jackson shrugged and continued to water the garden, a chore he loves to help me and his grandmother Nini perform. After we nourish the herb pot and put water in the bird bath, we hurry out of the backyard due to bothersome mosquitos. A monarch butterfly lands on the butterfly bush alongside the garage. Jackson stops and watches. I stop to sniff one of the yellow roses next to the purple coneflowers. I stop at least once a day to smell the roses. Cliche intended. The fragrance always puts a smile on my face. Jackson runs to the front yard and I know it’s time to kick the soccer ball, play some baseball or begin a game of roof ball. He and I love roof ball, but Nini is not as keen on the sport, as the ball has a tendency to come down off the roof and into her plants or at times even knocking over one of her precious garden gnomes. Our soccer games usually end up in a game of tag or dodge ball with Jackson finding a way to run me ragged and spin me around until I get so dizzy, I have to sit down. He is 6 and I am 68. I explain that, but he just throws the ball at me again. My other grandson Joey just turned 1 month old and I can’t wait to walk the yard with him, check the tomatoes and play roof ball. When Joey is 6, Jackson will be 12 and I will be 74. I am sure they will find plenty of ways to team up and tire me out. But even after I sit down and huff and puff, sweat dripping from my brow, I have to smile because I wouldn’t change this for anything. No matter how crazy the world can be around us, there is one little plot of land in Webster Groves, Missouri where the tomatoes need checking, the sunflowers need watering, and the bird bath needs to be filled. And I know just the guys to do it!

A special kudos to one of our columnists Jean Ponzi, who will be giving a Ted Talk on September 12 at the Pageant. See Jean’s column on page 11 for more information.

Make sure you come to our 38th Natural Living Expo, Sunday, Sept. 29 at the Webster Groves Recreation Complex. We have a great group of exhibitors lined up as well as live music, plenty of samples & giveaways and everything you need to live a greener and healthier life. Check out pages 4 & 5 for more information and a discount admission coupon. Come on down!

See You At The Expo, JB Lester