Gardening for the Brain

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

The tea at Clear Creek was great. And I found out the church is way over 200 years old. It was established in 1785. Wow! And it is a beautiful church with beautiful people. My talk wasn’t as good as I’d hoped it would be. I can never decide whether more practice is better or less practice is better. Sometimes when I prepare too carefully then I get hung up on wanting to say those great words I’ve thought up exactly as I wrote them down and then I’m stumbling around trying to remember what it was I had worked out to say. So then I try just preparing an outline of ideas and that works better, but then I skip over what I’d hoped would be some of my best points. I like to speak and I hope as I have more opportunities that I will get better and find my comfort zone somewhere between too much preparation and not enough.

One thing sure, the ladies at the church had done the proper amount of preparation. The tea party was great. The place was decorated in chocolates. Now you can’t go wrong with those kind of decorations. Everything was pink and chocolate brown. And the centerpieces were elevated cake plates with brightly wrapped mini candy bars. Then the food was fancy with lots of dainty sandwiches, crackers and cheese dips and pretty and delicious desserts. Oh yeah, and my favorite part, fruit. I’m just saying that to keep everybody from thinking I totally pigged out on the chocolate. There was strawberry tea and peach tea and raspberry tea. All very yummy and served up by some of the guys in the church.

You’ll be glad to know I did come up with something to say. I probably even talked a few minutes past twenty, but only a couple. Nobody went to sleep (that I saw) and only the littlest baby got so tired she cried. I enjoyed meeting all the ladies and appreciated their kind words about my books. There was a momma there who has an eleven month old baby boy, a twin, with a serious health problem. Evan is facing a bone marrow transplant when they find a donor, so keep him and his mom in your prayers.

Now to the title of the blog. I always make you wait. I just read an article in the newspaper that gardening can help us hang onto our cognitive abilities. I want to hang onto mine for sure, although I have to admit to being more forgetful than I used to be. I can turn around once and lose something completely and totally. I usually find whatever it was. But sometimes not for a couple of days and half the time it’s right where I thought it was all along. I think the gremlins are playing tricks on me. You know about gremlins – those invisible little beings that collect odd socks and hair clasps and paperclips and dozens of other necessary and chronically disappearing items.

Anyway, I’ve been vegetable gardening all my life. Darrell does most of the gardening work these days. Now I realize how I’m blessing him by letting him do most of the planting, hoeing, etc. since it’s helping his brain stay young. But I’m still in the garden a bunch, picking the veggies and pulling the weeds you have to lean over to get. If Darrell can’t get them with his hoe, they don’t get got. So maybe we’ll both fend off dementia for a few more years and even if we hang up our vegetable garden hoe, there will always be flowers to plant and water.

I guess I’ll keep digging in the dirt until I forget which is a flower and which is a weed. I was showing my grandkids which were weeds and which were not the other day. They’re growing some beans in half our garden. The little one who just turned three pulled up the morning glory vines out of the beans and then very carefully planted them in the middle of the rows to keep them from dying. One thing sure, gardening is more fun with kids around.

So grow something this week and stay brain young. See you again on Wednesday. No telling what I’ll talk about then, but maybe it won’t be more than fifteen minutes worth.

My son