STRAWBERRY SHOES

I used to see garden shoes for sale in catalogs and wonder who would buy those. But I’m beginning to understand – gardeners would.

When The Green Thumbs first rented our community garden space, my friend and I went to see our new temporary property.

She was wearing an adorable pair of shoes with peach bows above the toes. I was wearing a pair of open-toed black shoes. Neither one of us could step beyond the grass into the plowed-up dirt.

After the garden was planted, I made an unscheduled stop by our plot with my sons on a Sunday morning after church. They each were sporting their shiny black dress-up shoes.

“No, you can’t water the garden,” I answered, as they headed straight for the watering cans.

Our plants looked thirsty, but my heels already were sinking into the soft grass next to the garden. We couldn’t risk mud on our best Sunday footwear.

“We’ll have to come back,” I said, “unless you’re planning to clean and polish the church shoes you’re wearing.”

My sons made a quick U-turn and raced back to the car.

Since then, we’ve learned cleats don’t work in the garden. Sandals are a no-no. Flip-flops, forget it.

On planned visits, we wear appropriate shoes. It’s the spontaneous stop-by visits that leave us unprepared.

This week, I stood on the edge of the garden in a nice pair of gladiator shoes. I could see a ripe, red strawberry in the distance just begging to be picked.

I thought about going barefoot to get it, but decided against getting my feet dirty.

Later, another Green Thumb mom stopped by our spot and picked the berry. She halved it with her daughter. They were wearing their garden shoes.

This morning, I’m placing an old pair of sneakers next to the rake, watering can and garden bag that are in the back of my mini-van.

The next strawberry that turns bright red in our garden is going to be mine.

–c

 

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