Five Minute Friday: Garden

5minutefridayToday, I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker‘s Five Minute Friday. The rules: Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. 

 This week's prompt: Garden.

Driving up to Grandma and Grandpa's house, the first thing we noticed was the lawn, or shall I say, the lack thereof.

Mounds of dirt sat everywhere, with Grandpa standing in their center.

He was a dreamer, my Grandpa.

Having read As a Man Thinketh and Think and Grow Rich a few too many times, Grandpa truly believed that if he thought about winning the lottery enough, one day, he would. Each summer when we'd visit, he'd take me through his newest calculations of how he'd spend his winnings.

Grandpa's dreaming was apparent in other areas as well, including his lawn and garden.

He wanted the perfect yard; A bountiful garden. And so each spring, he took steps to try to achieve it.

I always wonder what poor Grandma must have thought every time she saw Grandpa standing at the edge of their lawn again, his eyes glazed over, lost in his own dream world.

Bless her heart, it appeared (at least to me) that she not only allowed Grandpa to dream, but that she also supported (or at least tolerated) the activities that resulted, even when it meant a yard full of dirt rather than grass; Or elaborate plans to rid the garden of the gophers that were Grandpa's most enduring enemy.

Some years, Grandpa focused his attention on his garden, rather than on his lawn. On those years, the garden would flourish, overtaking his backyard.

I know Grandpa grew a variety of things, but what I remember most were the strawberries and the raspberries. In the middle of our outdoor shenanigans, we cousins would dash through the backyard, grab a raspberry, and cry out “Power!” as though they were a secret source of fuel (and maybe, in some ways, they were).

Grandpa's garden was but one manifestation of his dreams. To this day, I still remember how people would sometimes react to this, smiling oddly at one another and quietly remarking, “Well, I guess it gives him something to do; A reason to get up in the morning.”

I think some people thought Grandpa's dreams – whether they were to win the lottery, have the greenest lawn on the block, or have a bountiful garden – were foolish.

And maybe to some extent, they were.

But perhaps the real fools are those of us who dare not dream at all.


Erika @Overflow

What a beautiful story. Thanks for the reminder to dream.

I love the raspberry power! My siblings and I were always snacking on our bush as well! :)

Posted by Erika @Overflow, about 9 years ago

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

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