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Una Mamma Italiana
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The Wait 'N See Tree
How nonna’s little tree taught our family a big lesson in faith and patience. "Faith is believing in something when common sense tells us not to."
by Cookie Curci
However, our Santa Clara Valley was once renowned as the nation's leading growers of fruit and vegetables. Thousands of acres of fruit trees of all kinds and types flourished in our valley. My Grandparents, like many young immigrants, planted and maintained a bountiful fruit ranch in the fertile Valley. It was in the shade of one of these trees where my own family roots would grow and where I would learn valuable family lessons that would stay with me a lifetime.
I was 10 years old when my Italian grandparents came to live with us. Our suburban house wasn't very large, but it did have a spacious back lot where Grandma could grow her beloved vegetables and fruit trees.
I regarded grandma's anticipation for spring gardening as some sort of seasonal madness. What else could explain the way she mixed fertilizer into the earth with such enthusiasm?
Grandma worked in her garden every day, so often and for so long a time that she almost became invisible at it. She loved her garden, bringing to it every little scrap of knowledge she had gathered in the fields and orchards. If the soil was too wet for roses, she knew instinctively the right amount of sand and pebbles to add to the earth. Grandma was comfortable using her bare hands as she was a hand trowel in her garden.
It took me a long time to understand grandma's eager passion for growing things. Not until I was on my own, many years later, did I find any satisfaction in planting seeds or in watching them grow.
During the spring and summer season, grandma was especially busy in her garden pulling up weeds from between her tomato plants, giving support to her bean poles, and tenderly patting her robust zucchini.
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