Wow! What a year 2012 has been! In the spring I began to mentor with another community and by May we were able to open a new community garden. I never thought I would have to defend the right to grow food but I had opposition from nearby neighbours, fearful of everything from lower property values to vandalism. Fortunately the garden became a reality and everything has worked out well for the Alexandra Community Garden. I was excited to see the progress of this new garden and felt proud that I played a small part in its startup.
The Ladner Community Garden had its best growing season in 2012. Vegetables and fruit grew like crazy as our soil slowly improved over time. Allotment gardeners were eager to take on more than one plot showing that they loved growing their own food. I remained as president of the Ladner Community Garden and will probably do so in 2013. I have lots of visions for the garden and each year we grow even more successful. Of course , I have wonderful volunteers so thanks goes to Sharon, Michelle, Lynn and Becky who are an inspiration in volunteerism.
My own garden took a bit of a hit in 2011 after my fall so in the spring of 2012 I had my share of weeds to contend with. It’s funny how resilient our gardens can be. They don’t really care if you aren’t there. They continue to send up the beautiful blooms each year even if you don’t tend them. At the beginning of 2012 I vowed to get myself and my garden back in shape and everything went well until May. I started to limp again and my body told me something was wrong. The first thoughts were that one of the screws in my thigh had come loose. Heaven forbid that hubby could go around telling people I had a screw loose. The x-ray showed that everything was in place, thank goodness, but didn’t explain the pain I had. I spend two months in physio trying to work it out until finally in September I couldn’t walk at all.
Back for more x-rays I went and to my dismay I found out I have avascular necrosis. This girl knows her Latin to know necrosis means death. This meant the blood supply to my femur had been cut off and the femur was dying a slow death. That explained the shortening of my leg and the inability to walk. This disease is a complication from the first hip surgery. So there went my school garden classes. I think we had two classes in September but I could barely get around the garden. How I miss the children this year! I will finally have surgery on January 25, 2013 to put in a new hip and take out the plate and screws from the last surgery.
More bad news arrived in September. We had to move the school garden that I had coordinated for the last two years. We could either move it to a spot where we only had a one year contract or find a more permanent home. With volunteers over the age of 60, they decided to move to a more permanent home as the thought of moving twice was daunting at best. Unfortunately this choice meant I was now out of work due to funding issues.
Even though its been a tough year, good things happened as well. My youngest son got married in November and that was one of the happiest moments of my life. I gained a new daughter as well. My daughters both moved into new homes and are very happy. So what will 2013 look like? I vow to walk again and to be able to toss my wheelchair away for good. The spring will be a healing time for me as the recovery is three months long. As a gardener this is way too long. I yearn to place my hands in the soil and grow my own food again. I also hope to continue to work establishing new community gardens and school gardens.
I often reflect on a speech given by a pastor at a friend’s wedding. You always think that life is this straight line when you finish school. You plan to get a job, have a relationship, a family and more. What we don’t expect is that sometimes life has twists and turns and they take us off course a bit. So with this in mind, we have to be flexible and bend with these moments. Its times like this that make us who we are and strengthen us.