Many years ago mama found some tiny, odd looking seeds in her bird seed when she was feeding her birds one morning. They looked so strange and she was so intrigued by em that she decided to stick em in the ground and see what might come up.
She decided to plant em by the front porch post at the corner of the porch in case they had vines so they’d have something to climb on. She kept em watered for a few days and then one morning she walked by the porch and looked down and low and behold there were two or three little green plants that had topped the ground. She kept a watch on them for a while and found out they were a vine of some kind cause they started climbing up that porch post. Out of curiosity, we all got in on the mysterious vines and kept an eye on them every day. They climbed really high till they reached the ceiling of the porch and then they started running across what I call the wall plate (mantle) of the porch. They soon began to bloom and the blooms were white. By that time we were so excited and anxious to see what kind of flower they might turn out to be. Mama kept saying they were Morning Glories cause they had the same kind of leaves but we were all still skeptical.
Daddy fixed it all when he came in the door one day and said, ye better get rid of them vines, they’re them Ole Japany vines and they’re gonna get in this house and kill us all. We all laughed till we hurt. Anybody and everybody that ever knew daddy knew he made up his own words as he went along and we never knew what was gonna come out of his mouth next. If folks didn’t know what he was talking about they played like they did and tried not to laugh in front of him but sometimes that was hard to do. He even called people’s name wrong, like my cousin Keith. He called him Cheith and it wasn’t cause he couldn’t say it, he never had a speech problem in his life, that was just his way. Keith would answer him and go on his way just like everybody else.
Back to the subject at hand, I’ll never forget the day a tiny gourd appeared on those vines and we were in awe. Daddy was the one that noticed it first and said, these are some kind of gourds, maybe they ain’t them Ole Japany vines after all. Sure enough, as more and more appeared and grew more large they were gourds but each one had its own unique shape and color. Some even turned out to be very multi-colored and they all had different shapes. They grew about three inches and stopped. To say we were amazed is an understatement cause we’d never seen gourds like that. Mama and daddy had planted and grown many gourds before but none like those and the leaves were even different on the vines and that’s what threw us off. They hung down from those vines clear across that porch mantle like some kind of Christmas decorations and were so beautiful.
That whole summer everybody that visited was so amazed by those little gourds and even more amazed by how mama came by the seeds. She told everyone that was her lucky find. We’d always been amazed at her cause she could walk through the yard and look down and pick up a four leaf clover and I’ve never found one in my life.
When fall came in and it came time to harvest the tiny gourds mama gathered every one and put them in a big bowl. She said she was gonna let em dry out over the winter and keep a few seeds from some of em.
When spring time rolled around she planted those little seeds in the ground, nary a one came up. We were all as disappointed as mama even daddy, especially after he’d found out for himself they weren’t Ole Japany Vines. We were looking forward to another summer of watching those gourds come up and grow.
Mama kept her little gourds for years cause they last a long time and they were her pride and joy. Mama is gone now and her little gourds too, and I only wish I could turn back time and watch her stick stuff in the ground and the enjoyment on her face when it came up. But that one particular summer it didn’t matter how many flowers or how big the gardens were she took the most pride in her little treasures.
She had a green thumb and everything she planted came up in one fashion or another. I know heaven is so much more beautiful with mama there cause she’s planted everything she can get her hands on. I can’t help but wonder how many tiny gourds are growing and hanging from the vines making more beautiful decorations in heaven.
© Susie Swanson 2106