When I was little

Marigold seeds in an envelope

Marigold seeds 1
When I was little — early elementary school age — we grew marigolds in our yard. When the flowers shriveled up, my mom and I picked them off the plants, and she set me at the kitchen table to pull the seeds out of the flower heads and put them on a piece of paper. They came out easily, and I liked how it felt. I liked seeing them slip out together. When we were done, we put them in envelopes for next year. It’s one of my first memories of understanding seeds and gardening. Not just having the technical knowledge, but feeling how things worked.

Marigold seeds 2

The sick bell

The sick bell

When I was little and I got sick, my mom would tuck me into my bed or under blankets on the couch and give me a bell so I could ring for her when I needed her. My mom’s bell had a stained glass handle and lived on the bookcase when everyone was healthy. Mine is this brass apple (and it also lives on one of our bookshelves when we’re all healthy).

A bell is nice for sick people because they don’t have to yell from their beds, and it’s nice for me because I can hear it all through the house. I give it to Gavin and to the kids when they come down with something that keeps them home from work or school, and they half smile like they’re not going to use it because it’s funny to ring a bell for help. Believe me, they don’t abuse it. They always ring it a little shyly. I like coming to see what they need right away, because it’s a way of showing them that I love them. When I was little and miserably sick, it felt comforting and special to know that I could ring a bell for love and attention and Seven-up and Saltines and help rearranging my blankets. I like being able to do the same thing for Gavin and the kids.

Originally posted on The DHX.