My neighbor is a remarkable person. Miss Thelma still puts out a huge vegetable garden and beautiful flowers each year at age 93!
You'll see her all hours of the day working out rows of beans. Not a weed in her garden. Her corn grows like the Jolly Green Giant, potatoes, tomatoes, leap from the ground. There's no doubt she's a master gardener.
One day it was 90 degrees and I noticed Miss Thelma hoeing the garden. I stopped to check on her (but didn't tell her that).
"Miss Thelma, you're going to have a heat stroke working in this hot weather," I said.
"I may do it," she said with a smile. "I just hope if I pass out, someone won't think this old lady is taking a nap and pass by. At least I'm wearing a cap."
I chatted with her awhile. She told me that she mowed her lawn that morning, and this afternoon worked in her garden.
Her red pickup was parked close to the garden. It had a power saw and some tree limbs on the back. Evidently she had trimmed some bushes either that day or another time.
I didn't criticize Miss Thelma for working. I figured it would be better to go on if you were still living an active life.
"You are an inspiration to our neighborhood, Miss Thelma. I hope if I live to your age, I can be as fit as you are."
She grinned and said she hoped to be able to garden for a long time. But everybody has to die sometime she added.
Finally, Miss Thelma is a strong person and a woman of faith. She's a mother figure and shares the fruit of her labor with others. Her vegetables are delicious and not like store-bought food. Maybe it's the love she puts into her garden that makes the difference. Our community is blessed that she lives here.