Grandma’s Garden


Grandma’s Garden

When Mom read Grandma’s letter, my twin brother, Bryce, and I looked at each other with surprise. “How can Grandma take care of a garden?” I asked, reaching for my milk.

“Grandma has always had a garden, Peg,” Mom answered, smiling and pushing the plate of cookies toward us.

“But, before, Grandpa was there to do the hard work,” Bryce pointed out. “Since he died, Grandma’s been alone. She shouldn’t be out working in the garden.” “But Grandma loves having a garden,” Mom said. “I don’t think anybody could talk her out of it.”

“Then we ought to help her,” I said. “Bryce and I could help. We help Dad in the garden all the time.”

“She lives a long way from us—almost 700 miles. We can’t drive there every time she needs help.”

“So what are we going to do?” Bryce asked. “We can’t just let her do it alone.”

Mom thought for a long time. “You can remember her in your prayers. That’s probably all we can do right now. We’ll visit her this summer. You can help then.”

“But that will be after most of the hard work.”

Bryce and I couldn’t stop worrying about Grandma. The summer before, we had spent three weeks with her and Grandpa and had worked with him in the garden. We knew how hard it was to work in the sun hoeing weeds, keeping the ditches clean, and watering every week. When we said our prayers, we always remembered Grandma and her garden, but we still felt there was something else we ought to do.

The next Saturday, Mom sent us to the store for some milk. On our way home, we passed Mrs. Rogers working in her yard. She was on her hands and knees, digging in her flower bed. She greeted us with her usual big smile. “Out running errands?”

We nodded. “Isn’t it too hot for you to be out working, Mrs. Rogers?” Bryce asked.

“It is warm, but someone has to do the work. Since Mr. Rogers had his operation, he hasn’t been able to do much. In a month or so, he should be well enough to help some. But right now there’s work to do, and I’m the only one who can do it.”

Bryce and I started home. “She’s all alone doing that work,” Bryce muttered. “Maybe we should help her out.”

A few minutes later we were back at Mrs. Rogers’ place. “We came to help,” I announced. “What can we do?”

Mrs. Rogers was surprised. “I haven’t ever had young people stop by to help out. What would you like to do?”

“Anything you need. You tell us what to do, and we’ll get it done.”

“Usually, working in a garden or a yard is hard, boring work, but that Saturday Bryce and I had the best time. The sun was hot, the sweat ran down our faces, our backs ached from pulling weeds, and Bryce and I both got blisters. But we had fun working with Mrs. Rogers.

It was late afternoon when we finally quit. She tried to pay us. “No, thank you,” I told her. “We didn’t do this for money. Taking money would ruin everything. We just wanted to help you out.”

Before she let us go, though, she fixed a huge pitcher of ice-cold lemonade and put a pile of soft, chewy brownies on a plate for us. We rested and feasted on the goodies.

For the next three weeks, Bryce and I stopped by Mrs. Rogers’ place often. Sometimes the only thing Mrs. Rogers had for us to do was carry the trash can out to the curb, but we still checked on her. We kept her flower bed and garden weeded, mowed the lawn, and helped trim the shrubs along the front of the house.

“I don’t know what we would have done without your help this summer,” Mr. Rogers said one afternoon as we were getting ready to leave. He had hobbled out into the front yard and sat in a lawn chair. “After my operation, I told Mrs. Rogers that we ought to just forget the garden and yard this year.” He shook his head and smiled. “She wouldn’t hear of it.”

“Usually we’re not crazy about working in the yard and stuff,” Bryce admitted, shrugging, “but this reminds us of working for our grandma.”

That evening as we were finishing dinner, Morn announced, “A letter came from Grandma today.”

“What did she say?” I asked, excited.

“How’s her garden?” Bryce wanted to know.

Mom smiled. “I think your prayers have been answered.”

“How?” I questioned.

“A family down the street from her knew that she needed help, so they decided to make that a family project. At least once a week they go there and lend her a hand.”

Bryce looked across the table at me and grinned. “Maybe we prayed that family over to Grandma’s garden.”

“You could be right,” Mom said, nodding, “and I think that maybe someone someplace else has been praying for their Grandpa and Grandma Rogers. Maybe they prayed the two of you over to Mrs. Rogers’ garden.”

“Is that how Heavenly Father works?” I asked.

Mom smiled. “When he has work to do, he often sends people like the two of you to do it. Doesn’t it make you feel good to know that you could be an answer to a prayer?”

Bryce and I thought about that. “Well, Peg,” Bryce said with a grin, “we’d better get to bed early tonight so that maybe we can help someone else tomorrow.”

[illustrations] Illustrated by Julie F. Young