The Haven: The Beginning


If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant;
if we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome.

—Anne Bradstreet, c. 1612-1672

The Wonder of AnimalsFor those of you who create corn, beans, potatoes, and hundreds of other foods from acres and acres of dirt; for those of you who create red, blue, yellow and white flowers from acres and acres of dirt; and, for those of you who produce food and/or flowers but on a smaller scale, spring is a joyous time.

However, for those of you, perhaps like me, who have small plots of land waiting to become food and/or flowers, spring can be a time of adversity. Why? Because we know, from past experience, that we have “black thumbs,” defined as “the inability to bring anything out of the ground other than dirt clinging to your thumb,” and have had little luck gardening. But this year will be different. Right? Right! We will become members of the “Green Thumb Society,” defined as “the society designated only for that rare, talented group of humans with like-thumbs who bring food and/or flowers out of the earth.” Intimidating! But I’m up for it. Let the battle begin!

Armed with gloves, hat, rakes, kneeling pads (notice – plural), shovel, spade, hoe, and numerous other tools I was told I needed to become a green-thumber, I survey my small plot. Instead of a feeling of “let’s get at it”, panic took over and I fought hard to not drop all of my newly purchased equipment and run back into the house to the safety of my computer. However, I took the “Road Not Taken” (thank you, Mr. Frost), stood still and talked to my yard. I told it I would learn all I could about taking care of it and together, with its cooperation, we would have a yard to be proud of. Sound strange? Well, in the face of impending defeat, we humans often do strange things. However, before I go any further in this narrative, let me describe my little corner of the world.


My home is part of the Southmore Mutual Housing Corporation. I know, the name sounds rather cold and unfeeling, like a steel and glass high-rise in some large city – but Southmore is far from that. We are located in South Bend, Indiana, and enjoy 48 acres of grass and trees, with woods on one side. There are 72 buildings housing 314 condo/apartment homes – an idyllic environment for people, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, opossums and deer. Southmore is “a little bit city and a little bit country” and a marvelous place to live.

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Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

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