Shortly after we had our first house built, some fifteen years ago, Ann was excited to get cranking on growing her own garden. Before I delve into all this, I have to shed some light on an important fact. At this time, our house was about forty miles north of Atlanta, Georgia. If you know anything about the south, you know that they really don’t have soil, not like the kind I’m used to, having grown up in Ohio. In Georgia, they have this “red clay” nonsense that’s more of a nightmare to deal with than anything.
Georgia clay makes it difficult (for beginners) to grow a garden and if you have children, you know how frustrating the clay can be. Once it gets into your clothes, you’re pretty much out of luck. I can remember us both being half frantic and shouting, “Do they still have their school clothes on?!” when any one of our daughters darted out into the backyard without giving us a heads-up. It seemed every time we we’re late to that party; we’d find our bank accounts taxed. Never in a million years would I have believed I would have missed plain old, brown dirt. Who would’ve “thunk” it?!
But, Ann set out anyway to give the garden the old college try. I want to say that after two years she finally gave up. It wasn’t until the family moved to Ohio before she would consider the task again…
In the summer of 2012, Ann planted a few packages of tomato seeds in the ground on the side of our house. Mind you, I was surprised she even opened this can of worms considering all that had happened, but after a couple of months the results came in.
Every morning, she went out to walk our dog (Daisy), a black lab mix, and while she was out, she’d water those tomato plants, check all the leaves and prune where necessary. Pretty soon they were close to three feet tall and as you can imagine, Ann was happier than a camel on Wednesday.
To this day I can remember her smile. She was glowing with pride and she had every right to. I’m not sure if I ever told her how proud of her I was (clearly I am now). Not really for actually growing the plant, but for not completely giving up on doing something that clearly, all those years ago, she really wanted to do.
So in honor of those delightful summer days in 2012, I present this tomato. Every time I see a tomato now, I see her smile. I see the joy those days filled her heart with and most importantly, I see her, just as unconditionally as I did when I first laid eyes on her… almost eighteen years ago.
Size: 6 x 4 (inches)
Materials: 90lb Cold Press Paper
Frame: Mini Wooden Shadow Box with Glass (4 5/8"W x 6 5/8"T x 1.25"D)
Completed: Monday, September 29, 2014
Artist: Adam Kiger
Represented By: Park View Gallery
Artist's Website: www.adamkiger.com
Who is Ann and what is 31 flavors of love?!