22968_000_021Based on a true storyThou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother (Deut. 15:11).
June pushed as Grandpa pulled the old red wagon up and down the long rows of vegetables. Grandpa stooped to inspect a knee-high, leafy green plant. “June, here are some nice big green peppers. Do you think that they are ready to pick?”
June stooped down to look. “Yup.” She carefully picked one and held it up to Grandpa for final approval.
“Yup,” Grandpa agreed. “Just right.”
June smiled and picked two more. She carefully placed them next to the corn in the wagon. The wagon was almost full, but there were still cucumbers, green beans, and squash to harvest.
She beamed as she looked at the beautiful fresh vegetables in the wagon. There were big red tomatoes, ears of yellow corn, orange carrots, leafy green lettuce, red radishes, and now, big green peppers.
Grandpa and June had planted the big garden in the spring. First they got the soil ready. Next, June helped Grandpa plant seeds in little holes. Then they carefully covered them with dirt.
After the seeds were covered, she helped Grandpa sprinkle the rich, dark soil with water. Up and down the long rows they went, digging and planting and watering.
They had also put in some small plants. “If we plant these instead of seeds, we’ll get vegetables sooner,” Grandpa explained. “I just can’t wait to pop a ripe tomato into my mouth!” Grandpa loved tomatoes.
Together June and Grandpa watered their garden almost every day. Grandpa put on his big black irrigating boots, and June tugged on her little blue rubber puddle hoppers. It was fun walking up and down the long rows, getting their boots muddy while they made sure that each plant got enough to drink.
Grandpa and June spent a lot of time weeding the long rows of vegetables, too. “Weeds drink up all the water,” Grandpa explained. “Now what is this I see?”
June squatted next to Grandpa to have a look. “Does it look like the plants around it?” Grandpa asked.
June compared the green plant to those near it. “Nope.”
“Weed or vegetable?”
“Weed,” June stated firmly and pulled it out with a hard jerk.
“Yup,” Grandpa said with a big smile, “you sure are a good gardener.”
June looked up at Grandpa. “Wow, Grandpa, we sure have lots of vegetables!”
“Yup, with lots more to come!” He unloaded the last acorn squash from the wagon onto the back porch. He sat down and wiped his forehead with his little red handkerchief. “Well, June, do you think we can eat all these vegetables ourselves?”
“Nope. We couldn’t eat that many in a hundred years.”
“You’re right,” Grandpa replied with a chuckle. “Well then, what do you think we should do with them all? I hate to waste any of our hard work.”
June thought a moment. She was proud of the vegetables and didn’t want to waste any, either. “I know! Let’s share them!”
“Now, that’s what I call a good idea! But who do you think would want some?”
June didn’t have to think very hard. “Sister Rencher doesn’t have a garden since she can’t bend down to pull weeds anymore. I bet she would like some.”
“Yup,” said Grandpa thoughtfully. “Who else?”
June’s mind was working fast. “Sister Rice works all day. She doesn’t have time to plant and care for a garden.”
“Good thinking, June. And the Sorenson’s next door don’t have room in their yard for a garden. I bet they would like some.”
“May we give some vegetables to my Primary teacher, Sister Johnson?” June asked. “I know she would like them.”
“Yup,” Grandpa said. “Now, how many people is that?”
June counted on her fingers. “Sister Rencher is one. Sister Rice is two. The Sorensons are three, and Sister Johnson makes four.”
Grandpa scratched his gray head. “How can we get all these vegetables to all those people?”
“I know! I know!” She jumped up and went into the house. Soon she was back, carrying four big brown grocery sacks. “We can put vegetables in a different sack for each person!”
“That’s a great idea,” Grandpa said. Together June and Grandpa thoughtfully chose vegetables for each person and carefully put them into the sacks.
“How can we get the sacks of vegetables to the people?” Grandpa asked.
“Can we take them in our wagon?”
“Yup. I think that will work.” Grandpa said. “You always have such good ideas! Now, who should we visit first?”
“The Sorensons. They’re the closest.”
Later, June held Grandpa’s hand as they pulled the empty wagon home. They had delivered all their vegetables. June’s small hand felt warm and secure inside Grandpa’s big one. She felt good inside.
“Grandpa, it’s sure fun to plant a garden. It’s even more fun to weed and water it. But do you know what’s the most fun of all?”
“Sharing the vegetables.”
“Yup,” said Grandpa with a big smile.
“Relationships with neighbors [and] friends … will be enhanced [made better] as we approach them with ‘the pure love of Christ.’ … We will find joy in … doing volunteer work of worth.” Elder Russell M. Nelson Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (Ensign, May 1996, page 15.)