Sunday, September 18, 2016


There is a Bible verse about faith and the mustard seed. I'm not going assault you with religious beliefs or spout Biblical verses... only enough to say, sometimes it takes determination, too.

Why and how does determination fall into the same category as faith?  Glad you asked.

I live in NW Ohio and see the miracle of the mustard seed.  I really don't believe there are that many farmers in this particular area who are raising mustard as a cash crop, so to see those fields of yellow when the mustard plant is in bloom ... all the way to the road, I might add ... is a beautiful thing to behold, even if it is weed.

But I wanted to talk about determination.

Ever planted morning glories?  I did.  Oh, about six years ago.  My wife and I thought it would be amazing to see blossoms spiraling up the trellis on each side of our front porch entrance. It would allow some shade and look gorgeous. We talked it to death and finally decided to do multi-colored rather than "discuss" (btw, that's also known as argue) which color, sky blue or purple, would be better.

So, the spring of 2009 I purchased a packet of seeds and spread a few of them on each side of the steps leading up to the porch, in front of the trellis entrance.

I'll admit, they were stunning. Beautiful parasols of sky blue, shades of lavender and purple, whites and creams, pinks, reds and even stripes or ribbons of mixed colors. They bloomed all day long and filled the trellis... and then some.

Good soil means good roots and good roots means strong plants and strong plants means vigorous growth.  Yup! Those morning glories filled the trellis and I had to string fishing line along the front of the porch for the vines to continue growing.  Otherwise it would have appeared I was attempting to grow Jack's Bean Stalk.

My front porch is twenty-four feet across the front with the four-foot wide steps in the middle. Hence, ten foot on each side.  Those morning glories grew from the raised flower beds in front of the porch, twining around the trellis and finally almost to the very ends of the porch on the mangle and tangle of fish lines I'd created.

Being retired, we tend to sit on the front porch and enjoy the cool breezes, listen to the birds fly and chirp and laugh at the antics of the hummingbirds.  The vines had seeds and I gathered as many as I coiuld, trying to make sure I got the red and blue ones.

But, all is not well nor content.  The overgrowth of morning glories - a two-foot wide trellis which now encroached to almost four-foot wide... and all the dangling vines across the top.  The view of the front yard, traffic, neighbors walking walking the country road, etc... was almost non-existent!!

"We won't be planting morning glories on these trellis next year!!"

"HUH?" I almost dropped my plastic bag of about 3 bazillion seeds.  Maybe I exaggerate a little, it was only like about two pounds of seeds.

"If you want morning glories, plant them at the end of the wall. I can't see out and I want to see."

Hm? I have an eight-foot retaining wall. Morning glories on that could be quite attractive. "Okay."

"In fact, you could tear them out now - it won't hurt my feelings at all."

Two weeks later, about the last week of September, found me ripping out the roots of the morning glory plants and trying to get the tangle of vines out of the trellis.  Needless to say, seeds were popping out of their pods and going everywhere.  I got the "most" of it out and threw the vines over the edge of the retaining wall.  The seeds could grow there next year.

Leap forward in time to Spring/Summer of 2010.

Dear Diary: Today  ripped another 200+ morning glory plants out of the raised beds. I think that makes it over 1000 plants I've weeded so far this year.

Leap forward in time to Spring/Summer of 2011.

Dear Diary: I can't believe I'm still pulling out morning glory plants from in front of the trellis.

Leap forward in time to Spring/Summer of 2012.

Dear Diary: Still pulling some morning glory plants out of of the raised beds. Found some blooming ones on the ground by the retaining wall.

BIG leap forward in time to Summer of 2016.

Yeah, I'm still pulling morning glory plants out of the raised bed.  So far this year, about 8 plants.  Last year, in desperation, I used RoundUp and put down three inches of mulch.  I can't believe the persistence of these seeds.  I also did RoundUp at the retaining wall and from what I can tell, those no longer grow.  Of course, this could be a "psych" year for them and they'll be back next year with a fervor to put out even more seed.

Now, the interesting thing is this.  I don't have any mustard plants in my yard, but if you are interested in a morning glory plant - I bet I might be able to find you one come next year if you decide to stop by. Just let me know you'll be coming so I don't tear it out before you get here.

Oh, and why did I want to discuss persistence?  I almost forgot.  November is coming which means National Novel Writing Month will happen.  It's also known as NaNoWriMo.  Anyway, you must write fifty thousand words in thirty days.  Now, there is persistence!  You need to write 1667 words each day as an average.  I have learned over the years - yes, I've done this for FOURTEEN years now, almost from its original inception, you must focus and have persistence... like a morning glory. Sure, you can have faith like a mustard seed, but it will take the persistence to keep you on track.  So, now is the time for you to outline your story, do your research and develop your characters.  Come November 1, you can plow into the frenzy and enjoy a month of writing a novel.

Remember, have the persistence of a morning glory.

Until next I ramble on...

No comments:

Post a Comment