Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mr. Paul & His Yummy Homegrown Veggies

Repost: In loving memory of the amazing Mr. Paul McKenzie, who once told me that my boys inspired him to be a better person.  Well, he inspired the same of me.  May he rest in peace.


We have lots of amazing neighbors, it's no joke. One of them is Mr. Paul, and I am dedicating this to him. A couple of months ago he saw the boys playing outside and invited them to come help him plant veggies in his vegetable garden in his back yard. I will tell you that this man is quite rough looking {bald, long beard, rides a Harley, tatoos}, and I don't know him at all. Needless to say, I was skeptical. Graham came to ask if it was okay, and I had to call Todd before I could answer him. I know. Shame on me. He answered me with an enthusiastic, "Yes!", so off they went.

About an hour later, they came home with all kinds of stories about how nice Mr. Paul was, and they told me all about his rules. Which were: never play in his yard, never go into his yard without first asking our permission, and when they do go in his yard always leave the gate wide open.

Mr. Paul came down a couple weeks lat
er and told us all these things himself, and thanked us for letting him have the opportunity to instill the appreciation of homegrown vegetables in them. He also thanked us for trusting him enough with them to let them go down to his house, because of the way he looks, well he doesn't make friends easily. I know. I got the message: NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER. So today when Graham, Drew and I got home, Mr. Paul had invited them back down to pick their veggies. And this is what they came home with. YUMMY. I've already tasted!

He also sent them home with these beautiful hydrangeas. I love these things...I grew up calling them pom~poms, but the flower is one and the same. These are the ones that you can change the color by sticking a rusty nail in the ground beside the base of the bush. They all came home bearing these beauties, and they were all instructed {by Mr. Paul} to tell me they loved me.

See? I told you I'd already tasted. I immediately cut these little jewels up, because who doesn't love bell peppers with ranch dip??? I do, and we're sharing our bounty with our friends at their house tonight. Yum! I thought they were beautiful, and thought about saving them for the presentation, but we're not going to be here, we'll be at their house. They're still pretty, though.

I made Drew come and taste a tomato. Mr. Paul made them each try a cherry tomato {his house, his rules, right??}, but I wanted Drew to taste one the way I like it~fresh off the plant with a little salt on it. I am making myself hungry again. My lunch consisted of tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers and grapes. Which was delicious. I am thinking about going and getting some more!

He loved it!!!

I forced myself to stop eating and save the rest for Todd. Which was about 2 slices. I had 3 for myself. Couldn't help it. Yum. {I wonder how many times I can say a version of that word during this?}

This was after they'd all been cleaned and wiped off. Aren't they beautiful? Mr. Paul, if you're reading this, thank you. I appreciate people like you. It's true that it takes more than a mom and dad to raise children, and it's people like YOU that we want helping us along our way.


P.S. Mr. Paul also just happened to get the boys and their story and veggies in the Collierville Herald newspaper. The week that he came down to talk to Todd and me, he brought with him the 5 papers that he had bought to give to us to share with our family. Is that amazing, or what? Love to all of you today.


Phyllis said...

That is soooo sweet! I am looking forward to seeing the paper. Tell him I said thanks to him for thinking of the family.

all4boys said...

You've already seen the paper...all this started happening back in May. I'm just now getting around to writing about it. I also told him thank you already. Love you!!

Todd said...

BTW folks I only had one slice of tomato...I can't imagine what happened to the other one that supposedly was saved for me!

all4boys said...

The dog ate it.

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