Mother Nurture – Investing in Knowledge and Skills That Last a Lifetime


Evidently, it’s an El Niño year.

Early January, the Carolinas were hit with a huge rainstorm that shut down my kids’ school and caused power outages all over the state. My yard also happened to flood that day, meaning, my future flower beds flooded that day. El Niño brings wetter than normal winters to the southeast and, after a long dry spell in Charlotte, we’ve had steady and occasionally heavy rain. I now know more than I ever thought I would know about water run-off and soil drainage. For flowers and produce that need a well-draining environment to grow, sitting in consistently wet soil is not ideal.

Back to the drawing board.

We were having soil delivered in February, so I needed to find a solution fast. I found a company that sells metal, raised garden beds that the boys helped me assemble. They had an impressive amount of fun screwing together nuts and bolts. We laid chicken wire underneath the beds to attempt to prevent our tiny outdoor neighbors from tunneling up into the beds to eat the roots. We’ll see if that helps. The beds are pretty tall. To save money, we first filled the beds with fallen sticks and branches, then shoveled leaves into the beds from piles that I have been collecting throughout the fall and winter. Soil and compost will fill the rest of the beds as we get ready for planting season.

I must say that this was a disappointing but important lesson – the lesson of accepting what is. Learning to take appropriate action after disappointment is critical in life. My oldest son is on his first ever basketball team through the YMCA. He started the season with all the excitement in the world but with very little knowledge about the game or technical skills. Last weekend, he tearfully said to me, “Mom, no one ever passes me the ball. No one likes me.” My question to him was, “If you had the ball and wanted to be sure that your next pass would score a point, would you pass it to yourself?” He said, “no.” I said, “That’s why your teammates don’t pass you the ball. They like you. They just aren’t confident that you’ll score. You just need to practice.”

I came into 2024 with my garden plan nailed down. I was confident that we were going to be successful gardeners. But, sometimes, things don’t go to plan. I stood in my yard, at one spot nearly eight inches under water, and thought that all hope was lost for a backyard garden business. I was borderline tearful with my bags of seeds, seed trays and lamps getting ready to start plants indoors that need some cold weather months for germination. But, it’s not lost. I just needed a new plan. It will cost more money in the short run to modify the garden plan with the new beds and filling in these beds with even more dirt. However, we may prevent future problems and lost product related to poor drainage and rot, just by making this simple modification early on.

Starting a business, raising children and managing your health or your finances, you must accept what is and adjust. We put up a basketball goal in the driveway. My “niño” is outside shooting hoops every day after school now, rapidly improving. But, between shots, he’s helping me plant seeds. Seed planting starts today!


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