Home Opinion My Garden Of Life By Jody Fuller

My Garden Of Life By Jody Fuller


There we were, gath-
ered around the table at
Mama Lucy’s chowing
down on a pot of deli-
cious homemade gumbo.
Someone from church had
loaded her up with a whole
bunch of “okry.” It was, as
I recall, the first time she’d
ever made it. It was good.
Real good. We enjoyed
it, in spite of swatting at
fruit flies like King Kong
on top of the Empire State
Both the kitchen and
dining room were infested
with those little pesky
pests. I’d never seen any-
thing like it. It was like a
second-grade science proj-
ect gone terribly wrong.
Between bites, we’d grasp
at the air like a one-armed
mime climbing a ladder.
Before it was over, we
had them all stirred up
and were reaching out
and grabbing them like a
gameshow contestant go-
ing after cash money in a
wind tunnel.
Mama Lucy had ap-
parently been saving her
compost in a stew pot. We
all have gardens and are
fans of compost. Compost
is a good thing, so why
waste a good thing?
Here’s the problem. She
kept her pot of compost
inside. We kept inquir-
ing and digging deeper
and deeper. We were in
tears—so much laughter. We really need to have
our own reality show. The
Karashians have nothing
on us. Seriously. Keep up
with the Kardashians or
Follow the Fullers. I know
what I’d rather watch.
Mama Lucy had been
adding to her pot for many
months, but it was just
rotting vegetables. There
was no dirt, leaves, or
anything like that. Rotting
vegetables. Nothing else.
In her defense, she did
have the top on it, but that
didn’t faze the fruit flies
a’tall. The temperature
was perfect for them, and
they were multiplying at a
rapid pace. If I was a fruit
fly, I would have been all
up in it. It was the place
to be.
She has a garden,
too, so when we asked
her why she hadn’t used
the compost herself, we
almost lost it. She’d been
saving the compost all
these months so that she
could give it to us as a
gift. Hey, it’s the thought
that counts. We do appre-
ciate her very much, but
holy cow, that was funny.
I think she laughed harder
than us.
When we left that night,
I saw the stew pot outside
on the deck. I wanted so
badly to look in it, but
somehow, I was able to
get past it. I can’t imagine
how nasty it must’ve been.
Something did good come
from all of this; I had a
similar pot at home, top
and all. We’d been using
an aluminum pan, but no
more, thanks to Mama
Lucy’s shenanigans. We
keep it on the porch and
go pour it into the compost
pile every day. We don’t
want no stinkin’ fruit flies
so close to the house.
She made gumbo again
a week later, and it was
even better than it was
the first go around, and
there were no fruit flies in
sight. As I look back on
that first night, I sure hope
no one was watching us
through the window. They
would have surely thought
we were crazier than we
actually are. We’re not,
but as we all know, it’s the
thought that counts.