Ten minutes worth of her life's
story told near the tool section
in the local garden store
gave me a glimpse inside
an elderly woman
who seemed as rusty
as my favorite spade.
She needed oiled. And
sharpened by someone's
Curious is easy when
the telling starts back before
she had four babies
in four years.
Her mother shook her finger
at the young woman who only
wanted to dance, not drink
Her husband took six mile
mountain loop hikes holding a
pitchfork - tines upright over his head
in case a cougar pounced from behind.
He died after building a farmstead
with a covered bridge over Jim Creek.
They were married 62 years.
Without bitterness she told how it
was good he was sick first and went
before her. She knew how
to take care. He didn't know how
to fetch her a cup of coffee.
Her gall bladder came out last week
after unrelenting pain. She brought
the family Doctor who sent her
to emergency homemade jam.
She offered me starts of her heirloom
ever bearing rasberries, suggested
Jobes fertilizer stakes for my fruit
trees, and helped me decide on a
small metal rake.
She remembered her father
burning the wooden remains
from iron axes
before replacing them with
handcrafted handles of ash.
She knew how to split cedar
with a shingle fro and how to drive
splints to make handles stay put.
We lamented over useless
tools made with slag iron and
cheap handles from China. Buy
old tools from old farmers, she said.
She reminded me to buy some
ever bearing strawberry starts
before I left.
I asked for her number. I'd like
to sit with her and drink tea
in my garden.