2018-05-17 / Opinions

Tractors, gardens, puppies, and tv appreciated on weekend ‘off’

By LORAN SMITH
columnist

Some short takes brought about from a restful weekend which was the first weekend since Valentine’s in which there was no event or banquet to attend.

May is here which takes us outside. May is for warm weather, crops emerging, and John Deere tractors out and about. In another day when I was a barefoot country boy – when life was uncomplicated – I enjoyed seeing the seasons advance forward. The growing season was inspirational. It is the same today.

The centerpiece of rural life continues to feature John Deere tractors. This is the time of the year when my routine often brings about connections with such destinations as Folkston, Hazlehurst, Warrick, Camilla, Wrens, Wrightsville, Tarrytown, Tignall, Jesup, Bowman, Cedartown, and Toccoa. Wherever you go the earth is being or has been conditioned for planting.

Gardens are emerging, being tended with tender loving care. There is the smell of fresh cut grass everywhere even if it is only your lawn which has just been mowed.

John Deere makes lawn mowers, too. You may ask, “Why the fuss about such a thing as a tractor?” Well, it’s like this. It was the John Deere tractor which made life easier for my hard working dad. John Deere gave us a better life.

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Each year, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia hosts a black tie ball on the Whitehall Road (officially 2450 South Milledge Avenue) in Athens. The gardens are located on University property and are enjoying their 50th anniversary.

Last year the garden was voted the seventh best botanical garden in the nation by USA Today’s 10 best Readers’ Choice Awards. The garden is a nice place to hang out, to walk endless trails and become compatible with plants and nature.

Wherever you travel, you are likely to find a garden of some type that resonates with the green instincts in your life. Central Park in New York reminds you that the city has long expected to experience growth by being accompanied by green space. Cities all over the world offer an outdoor setting where people can enjoy taking breaks from work….coffee breaks, lunch breaks, or relaxing in the sun. Visiting the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, makes you think about the Villandry Gardens in France, Claude Monet’s home and gardens at Giverny or the Keukenhof Gardens at Amsterdam; If you can’t go there, try the State Botanical Garden which is virtually within arm’s length.

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You, in all likelihood, don’t know Chestnut and Murphy. They are barely six weeks old but have made two little girls very happy. Nothing like a pet to bring a smile to a child’s face.

Sophie, 10 years old, and Penny, eight years old, are sisters who have been lobbying for a pet for some time, but there were understandable concerns from their parents.

They live in a city which means their pets would spend a lot of time inside. Accidents would be constant until they were housebroken. Though Sophie and Penny have an exceptional rapport, how would they be able to share a pet if it were not a cat?

A cat was out of the question. They wanted a puppy. So the decision was to let each one of them take possession of a puppy. Their mother found them a brother and a sister…. puppies who were five weeks old. Murphy and Chestnut sleep with Sophie and Penny. They get the best of care. When Sophie and Penny leave for school in the morning, they leave home with tears. They can’t wait to return home from school so they can reunite with their new best friends.

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The Smithsonian Channel has become my favorite TV channel, replacing the History Channel which now has too much garbage, junk, and useless promotional material for my taste.

With the Smithsonian Channel there is so much to give you a refreshing connect with history, an insight into the landscapes of not only America but other parts of the world.

“Aerial America” is one of the best shows there is. This show makes every state come to life. If there is a bad feature to the state’s history, “Aerial America” does not dwell on that although the show doesn’t sweep any blights under the rug.

The stunning beauty of Vermont, the wide open spaces of Montana, and the fishing mecca’s of Arkansas; the beckoning landscapes of California, Ohio, and Texas….where the longhorn cattle feed on the lowly gypsum weed.

When you watch the Smithsonian Channel nobody gets shot, nobody fleeces anybody, and nobody ruins anybody’s day.

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