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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Dandelion Wine

Ever since we bought our house I have been engaged in that proverbial battle with nature for the perfect lawn. Well, OK – I never really tried for “perfect” that’s an exaggeration; my goal is somewhere north of a mud-pit and south of a madman yelling “Don’t walk on my lawn!!!!” Honestly, I’m happy if I have more green than brown. Truth be told if you walked past my house right now, the lawn is probably not even mowed. Well, that’s a whole ‘nother story. To complicate things I have always had an objection to using pesticides and other chemicals; having young kids I always wanted them to be able to run around. Hence, the real battle; weeds.

From the very beginning there have been three weeds that I have been on a campaign to banish from my square patch of suburban splendor. There’s the dandelions of course, then there’s that big broad leafed weed that spreads and chokes out everything around it. And finally there’s that one with the long round stems and the teardrop shaped tiny little leaves. That weed particularly loves to grow on my brick patio and walkway. My goal has always been total eradication. This I do not exaggerate; I have spent entire weekends filling garbage pails hand pulling these suckers out one by one. And still they proliferate. I can imagine them mocking me. Sunday afternoon, not a single weed in sight, a sore back, and a garbage pail on the curb filled with weeds; Wednesday evening there’s a bunch of happy little Dandelion flowers on my front lawn. 

I decided I must get to know the enemy; thank you Google. The dandelion is the dandelion; I know that one, no need to look it up. The broad leafed one is the Plantago major (broadleaf plantain, white man’s foot, or greater plantain) it is a species of flowering plant in the plantain family Plantaginaceae. Hmmm; Turns out it’s edible and can be used for medicinal purposes. The other one is the Portulaca oleracea (common purslane, also known as verdolaga, pigweed, little hogweed, red root, pursley, and moss rose) Also edible. Also has medicinal uses. Interesting. I am reminded that My grandfather used to make Dandelion wine. Back to Google: Taraxacum is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae and consists of species commonly known as the ubiquitous dandelion. Edible and useful medicinally. Another Google search reveals a ton of recipes that include Dandelions. Turns out, the “enemy” is good for me! 

Throughout my life I have been reminded in little ways that things are not always what they seem. Occasionally, I am lead by one means or another to re-evaluate a prejudice and view my world through a different perspective. I am reminded of scriptural references telling us that God’s ways are not our ways. I realize that He created that thing or person or whatever it is that I dislike so much; and I am reminded that He loves them, too. Sure, the battle continues, but for a brief moment, I am at peace with my lawn. Perhaps I'll even try to make Dandelion Wine. Is there anything in your life that could be re-evaluated?

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