Monday, April 9, 2012
My stepdad, Bob Lucas, went home to be with the Lord in January. I've been thinking a lot about him the past couple of days. He sure loved spring. He loved going to the nursery and buying new plants whether they be flowers or vegetables. Bob and Miracle Grow had a special bond--pretty much every weekday you could find Bob in the yard fertilizing or weeding or planting or harvesting. He didn't just have a green thumb; he had a whole green hand! Bob took pride in having the best lawn in the neighborhood. Bob grew up in Northwest Indiana and was used to caring for the type of grass in that region, and he knew exactly how to make his grass the most lush, green grass for miles around. When mom and Bob moved to Florida a few years ago, he didn't realize the difficulties he would face in getting the same type of lawn he had in Indiana. No matter how hard he tried fertilizing and weeding, he just could not get the same results. One day, he had the whole lawn torn out and had sod laid so he could finally get some rich, green Indiana-type grass. Even though Bob was determined, nature fought back, and soon the typical Florida weeds were invading the new sod. Not only were weeds making his lawn-tending life miserable, but some sneaky gopher moles were making mounds on the property. Bob had his hands full, but he never let the obstacles stop him. He continously worked hard to have the prettiest lawn in the neighborhood.
If you wanted to have a great conversation with Bob Lucas, you would be pretty wise to choose your topic of conversation from the things he enjoyed discussing: adventure stories, fishing, Alaska, nature, and...gardening. I enjoyed our talks about gardening even though I'm not much of a gardener. One year he inspired me to dig out an area behind our deck and plant some flowers. When I told him what I was going to do, he told me he had some moss roses to give me. I followed his instructions in planting the moss roses and in tending them, and I ended up with some beautiful flowers that I was proud of--he was pretty proud of me too!
Bob grew all kinds of tomatoes in pots, and after seeing his success, I decided to grow some tomatoes at home too. I bought some tomato seeds, dug out a patch of earth, planted the seeds, and carefully tended the little plants as they sprouted through the soil and grew like weeds. I made sure to pluck any invading greenery that grew around my tomato plants so that they would not get choked. One day when mom and Bob were visiting, I took Bob outside and proudly showed him my thriving tomato plants.
"Those aren't tomato plants," Bob said in an exasperated tone, "Those are weeds!"
Bob wasn't one to mince words or to make me feel less stupid. I could have crawled into the ground and died, but instead we all had a great laugh that day! For a couple of months I had lovingly tended 8 weeds. No wonder there weren't any little tomatoes yet!
I sure am glad that in Heaven we will enjoy many of the same things we have down here on earth but without all the complications. Lawns in Heaven won't have gopher moles, and weeds won't look like tomato plants, and loved ones won't be going anywhere else.