Janet Ferguson shares reflections from her Front Porch

Janet Ferguson and I became friends in the past year. We are in a small critique group together with Misty Beller and LeAnne Bristow. Janet is a contemporary author working toward publishing three romantic comedies set in her home state of Mississippi. When you read Janet's writing, you can picture yourself in Mississippi. And now, here's Janet...

I come from a long line of gardeners, but I missed that gene altogether.

I used to spend a lot of time on my front porch swing when the kids were little. They’d play in the yard, many times in a little wading pool, squirting the hosepipe, as we call it down here. Our collie ran around, playfully circling the pool and barking. Good times.

At night, sometimes my husband and I would sneak out once the kids went to bed. We’d let the swing rock and listen to the sounds of the Mississippi night. I loved these times which reminded me of my childhood, back in the day when children played outside until Mama called you in for supper.

I’m not exactly sure, but I think once my kids began high school, was when I began neglecting my porch and my swing. And my yard. Oh, my. During those years, things got real hectic. Ball games and concerts and practices and shopping, plus I took a job at the high school library. No time to sit. I have a lot of pictures of my cats enjoying the swing, though.

Now our daughter is getting ready to graduate college, and my son will leave for the university next fall (we hope, ha). Not long ago, I left the driveway to walk my dog, and I looked out at the weeds in the flower bed and the scraggly bushes. I determined that I really should help my husband in the yard. His engineering work keeps him tied up so much now.

With good intentions, I pulled on my yard gloves (since I developed an allergy to poison oak) and headed outside to pull weeds. Within two minutes, a wasp stung me. Literally, two minutes. A few days later, or maybe weeks, I tried again. Pulled one weed, a tall one, apparently connected to an underground tunnel of fire ants. Why can’t we find a cure for those synchronized stings? It hurt. I went inside to tend my wounds. Another day, I lobbed a few branches from a tree, until my neck got a catch in it, and I was unable to lift my arms without excruciating pain for a week.

Anyway, I sat outside to type this article, and a swarm of mosquitoes attacked me, despite a good amount of insect repellant I applied. I don’t really get this, but I’m taking it as a sign.

No yard work.
No guilt.
A time and a season for everything.
I’ll enjoy the outdoors walking my labradoodle and test the yard work out in another year. Or two. Maybe the gene will kick in.

If you’d like to check out my website or find me on social media, I’d love to hear from you.