News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2007


Relief for the tomato plants

The two tomato plants in my garden got relief Friday. No, it wasn’t rain because they’ve had rain.

Our grandchildren went home that day.

Tom Tom’s garden attracted the three Deas children the way lettuce plants lure rabbits in the spring.

The tomatoes were simply hanging there, a modern miracle; their vegetables are supposed to come from Publix and Kroger.

From little hands that are approaching age 6, and from 4-and 18- month-old ones, my tomato plants were under attack. That was fine as long as the red tomatoes lasted.

“Wright, only pick the red ones,” I instructed, as he carefully plucked the cherry tomatoes and put them in a container.

“Ah, big ones,” he said, when he spotted the other plant. It had two ripe ones that were gone quickly.

“Don’t pick the green ones because they are not ripe,” I said.

Off we went to show his harvest to his mother and to hear him declare he would take them home to Georgia to show his dad, then eat them.

He returned to the deck under the maple trees later with green ones.

“Wright, I told you those were not ripe,” I said.

Mary Grace interceded. “But Dad, you didn’t explain it to him properly so he would understand.

“You should have said that the green ones don’t taste good and that’s the reason you don’t pick them.”

She then explained to Wright what I failed to communicate.

“Oh,” he said.

The incident reminded me of the time Grandfather Glenn discovered watermelons growing in the field had a plug removed.

A wedged-shaped plug deep into the red meat was the way farmers once convinced buyers of the ripeness of their melons.

I decided that if he could laugh at his own children plugging his melon patch I could laugh about the tomatoes.

Everybody knows grandchildren do funnier things than children.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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