I love planting a garden.
I love watering a garden.
I love harvesting a garden.
I hate weeding a garden.
A week ago I weeded my garden.
Well, I had to.
The weeds were almost as tall as the zucchini plants.
There aren't too many things that remind me of my Pop.
He often worked two jobs during my childhood.
Weeding always reminds me of Pop.
One of the first things Pop did after we moved to College Point was plant a garden.
Tomatoes, zucchini, beets, carrots and green beans.
Lots of green beans.
Pop's garden wasn't just a hobby.
Gardening was a passion with Pop.
He'd been born on Grandpa's farm.
So was I.
After my parents married, they set up housekeeping in a barn on the farm.
It was temporary.
Pop had filled out his papers to move to America.
His brothers were there and they'd told him it was great.
So we came to America.
We lived in Corona, with one of his brothers, his wife and two children.
Pop worked, along with another brother, in a third brother's deli.
After two years, the brothers fought.
We moved to College Point.
Pop loved being in his garden.
As soon as he came home from work, he'd change his clothes and water the garden.
Sometimes he let me hold the hose.
A weed didn't last long in Pop's garden.
Pop hated weeds.
"Damn weeds. They steal from my plants.
They steal water, they steal food. My poor plants."
He taught me how to recognize and pull weeds.
He taught me they were awful.
So, when I weed, I think of Pop.