“Mom! Are You Growing…?”


I live in North Hollywood (now called “Valley Village”). Many people here have fake grass, cement, or granite rock in their front yards. Not me! My front yard is full of beautiful flowers, succulents, cacti, and lots and lots of tomatoes. It’s become a neighborhood attraction.

I also enjoy calligraphy, so one day I made a humorous sign (photo) and put it out front to make people smile. I texted a picture of it to my older sister, Bonnie.

She sent a copy of it to Kian, my son in New York. “I can’t believe your mom is encouraging people to grow marijuana!” she wrote him.

Kian called me immediately. “Mom, are you encouraging people to grow weed?” he chided.

He then broke into hysterical laughter. Kian knew I’ve always said to get high on life, not drugs.

Lest any neighbors get the wrong idea, I modified the sign. It now reads, “Have a garden weeds mentality. You will grow in every circumstance.”

I recently made another outdoor sign. It shares a Charles Dickens quote: “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else.”

I hope my garden and signs, in a little way, do just that.

By long-time GREENPRINTS subscriber Julie Freitas.


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