Now, don’t think from the title that I am anti-organic. Quite the contrary—I have always been interested in adapting a healthy life style. In fact, several years ago, my husband and I became very attracted to organic gardening and self-sufficient living. ..
At that time, he managed the sewing machine store we owned in a nearby town and I worked in the office of a local manufacturing company. One of my co-workers, MJ, was a very frugal older lady who was both an avid gardener and an unabashed animal lover. She was quite pleased to learn that I, a member of the younger generation, was also interested in gardening and so she volunteered to bring me some organic fertilizer.
Friday arrived and, knowing I would have the whole weekend to work in my garden, MJ decided to bring the fertilizer to work. I was ecstatic—she had brought me three large plastic bags of horse manure! You would have thought it was gold. As we lifted the heavy bags into the trunk of my car, I could envision my hard clay soil miraculously transforming into rich dark loam and producing mouth-watering crops of corn, tomatoes, and green beans.
The work day was rather uneventful. I spent my time processing orders and answering customer complaints. Since our shop stayed open until 8:00 on Fridays, I planned to go there after work to help my husband and keep him company. Four o’clock finally arrived. After spending nine hours indoors in a windowless “dungeon,” it would be great to step outside into the sunlight and enjoy a breath of fresh air.
As I opened the door and descended the steps, my nostrils were assaulted by the most horrid stench imaginable! I immediately clamped my hand over my face. “What in the world could produce such a sickening odor?” I wondered. Just then I realized the awful aroma was emanating from the trunk of my car where the organic fertilizer had been cooking (or rather, decomposing) in the hot sun for the past nine hours!
Hoping for some small relief from the stench, I quickly opened the car door only to find the smell had become even more concentrated, permeating every inch of the small, enclosed space. The obscene odor, I feared, might have even penetrated to the molecular level. Not knowing what else to do, I started the engine and began the twenty-five mile trip to our store.
Once on the open road, I rolled down the car window. By this time my lungs were desperate for some fresh, clean air. But, alas, there was none. For the stagnant putrid air inside the car had co-mingled with the noxious fumes erupting from the trunk, producing a malodorous monster which re-entered the car with a vengeance and attacked my nauseous nostrils.
I pinched my nose, clamped my mouth shut, and held my breath as long as I could. Eventually, however, the survival instinct took over and I sucked in a breath of the noxious air. As quickly as possible, I again covered my nostrils and lips, gasping for a quick breath only as a last resort. This process was repeated for the entire trip. It was unquestionably the longest 30 minutes I can ever remember.
In addition to olfactory anguish was the dread of breaking the news to my husband that I had despoiled our primary means of transportation, probably rendering it worthless. He was unable to protest since the foul odor had left him semi-conscious and in a completely passive state of stupor. (Well, maybe that last sentence is a bit of an exaggeration). Anyway, we did grow a wonderful garden that year. And, despite my misgivings, the organic produce was scrmptuous and didn’t taste a bit like equestrian excrement!
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December 11th One Year Bible Readings
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