49 (gulp!) years ago today, at 1:20 in the afternoon, I emerged into the world and not at all happy about it. My Mother always told me that I came out kicking and screaming. There was no little 'love tap' on the butt to get my lungs going... I was vocal from the start! Something that continues to this day!
Whenever I reach this day, I always remember a story my Grandmother (I miss you Gran!) would tell me. She was visiting us from Tennessee when my Mother went into labor. It was decided that Gran would stay with my sisters while my Mom and Dad went to the hospital. Gran took my sisters into the wooded area behind our house for a walk to entertain them. Gran loved to be outdoors and would seize every opportunity to teach us something about nature. She stopped by the creek that flowed through the woods and she said a prayer. She prayed for a 'little red-headed grand baby.' Gran's prayer came true. After I worked through the peach fuzz phase of hair growth, my hair was a rather bright auburn color. (I'm so thankful that my hair color moderated as I grew older... it's not easy growing up with red hair in the 60s and 70s!) Gran always said I was special to her because her prayer had been answered. She was an amazing woman. (with good taste in 'favorites' I might add!)
Gran taught me a lot growing up. She taught me how to cook in a cast iron skillet (it's fabulous), how to appreciate wildlife, how to clean a freshly caught fish (not a skill I use today, but I can still remember how to do it) and she gave me my first glimpse into gardening. Before she passed away five years ago (at age 98) Gran would love to come to our home and be in the garden. "Kenny," she said, "I do believe you are the best gardener in the family." Quite a compliment for a guy who used to find every excuse to NOT work in the garden as a child!
So, while I'm working in the garden today, I know Gran will be with me, guiding me every step of the way. She always has. She always will.