My connection to Mother Nature goes way back to my great-granddad. He was living close to nature, in fact so close that he planted his own forest. It still stands today near my fathers place. This was on my mothers side of the family. Close to where my great-granddad lived, my dad and his dad also lived. My dad still lives there. This is where electronics came into my life. See, my father worked many years together with his father in their own TV and radio repair shop. This was very exciting for me to come visit them and get lost in the all the TV and radio sets, tools and manuals. Come to think of it, they must have been pretty nervous having a small kid playing around all that delicate hardware. Fortunately there were never any accidents, only adventure. My dad lived ten minutes from the shop, in a beautiful old house. The garden was special I thought, because it had those Burgundy snails in large numbers. Those you can get in a restaurant, if you dare. We never ate them though, but it was still fascinating to find them in the garden.
My mom didn’t quite like how my health was developing, I guess I was a bit overweight. She later told me, that the reason she’s so into into healthy food today, is because she felt my weight got out of hand when I was a kid. I’m very grateful that she took responsibility for it and did something to change it for the better, especially as I found out later in my life, that we really are what we eat, or at least very affected by what we eat.
Animals have always been a big part of my life. My mom had this female cat called Henry (don’t ask me why 😉 ), that was always helping with everything as cats like to do. When we moved from my dad when I was about two years old we found a new place that had a small pond and ducks. It was cool to watch as a small kid and there were also chickens in this new place. Eventually these chickens would get old and they would loose their head. Not a pretty sight for a small kid. I hated it when they ran around the property without the head and making that awful noise from the throat. And all the blood. Argh, what a mess.
I made friends with the girl next door. Her dad knew what it was all about. Despite located in the industrial part of the town, they had a big vegetable garden with all sorts of vegetables. Especially the carrots I remember. Nothing better for us kids than to go out and pick our own carrots for eating. They were great. Although not very old we were much into this gardening thing. One time we went out and stole potatoes from another garden, and tried to cook them in our hideout. It tasted like crap, because obviously we didn’t know what we were doing.
Across the road there were these big healthy black and red currant bushes. You could just feel that, hey this is good for me, I will eat till my stomach hurt, and then I’ll come back tomorrow and eat some more. Turned out that they were full of vitamins and healthy. One of those small things you really appreciate as a kid.
My mother also had a garden, but it was more like an ornamental garden.
As a kid I did help maintaining it, and sometimes I would overdo it a little bit. I once asked my mom if I could help remove the weeds around the bushes which she agreed to. Eager to please I dug up the bushes and put them aside, and then removed the weeds. Then I put the bushes back into the ground again. She didn’t really like that 😉 . I think I was a little more thorough back then.