Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy birthday, Dad

My dad would have been 81 today. He died last fall, suddenly, unexpectedly, after a weeklong visit with me. What a gift and blessing that visit was.

I miss him every day, especially now, when it's time to get the garden going again. He was a wonderful gardener, and it was something he was consistent about. I don't remember a time when he wasn't growing something, even if it was a pot of tomatoes on the patio when the yard was too small to dig up a larger plot.

When he visited here last fall, he urged me to find someone with horseradish and get a start from them. He figured our Amish neighbors probably grew it, but when I asked, no one had any. To my surprise, I found horseradish root, ready to plant, a couple months ago at a little store in town.

To my further surprise … it's growing!

Horseradish and rocks: A still life. Heh.
We don't eat a lot of horseradish around here; a $2 jar probably lasts a year. But when I saw that plant, I didn't hesitate to buy it and stick it in the ground. Some people remember their fathers with photos or songs, or warm, fuzzy memories. My dad's legacy is … a bitter root.

I think he'd love it.

3 comments:

  1. Hi Debbi:

    Hope you and M are doing well. We have a patch of horseradish if you need more starts, but my experience is once you plant it, you have it forever. Even if you pull it up, it will resprout from the broken roots.

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  2. Fresh horseradish vs horseradish in a jar -- no comparison! You will love it.

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  3. Thanks Debi. We've just gathered to celebrate my father's 80th, and this post reminded me to appreciate the small wisdoms he shares with us.

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