Tag Archives: weeds

The Neighborly Thing

When Son, and I occupied the house (where we live now), I would be found (most of the times) digging up weeds in our front yard. However hard I tried to get rid of them, you could be sure that they would be in a jiffy sprouting back again. I would devote two days of the week to the task of removing them, but with vengeance they would make a re-appearance. Son wanted me to use a weed killer but I was going the old fashioned way.

It appears I was doing the right thing. Son used a weed killer in one part of our backyard. The weeds are back in great profusion, but there is no grass.

On the days I was working in our front yard, a lady would pass by on the side walk. We would exchange smiles, and greetings. One day, Son brought in a sweet dish from the lady. She lived in the street which was at the back of our house. Son pointed out her home to me in case I wanted to return her friendly gesture.

A few days later I made Karhee. After deciding to take some to her, I filled a bag with snacks just in case she didn’t like my dish of Karhee. I’m terrible at remembering. I had forgotten which house belonged to her. I went upto a house, and rang the bell. When a man answered the door, I hesitatingly asked, “ Does the Turkish lady lives here?” No was the answer.

I didn’t remember the lady’s name. It really was embarrassing. The next house I visited, I quickly looked at the mail lying beside the door. The surname on it was Brown, so it definitely wasn’t her. I hurriedly retraced my steps back to the street. Entering the driveway of the third house, I saw the American flag flying in the front. So it certainly wasn’t her home. I went to the next house, and rang the bell. After a while two cute children answered the door. I asked, “ Is your Mom Turkish?” I heaved a sigh of relief when they both answered yes.

A few days later she came to visit me. I got her name, and phone number. I told her my tale of how I found her house. We laughed together. She wasn’t home the day I was trying to find her. Being a mother, she had instilled in her children not to answer the door when she wasn’t there. She had scolded them, “How could you open the door to a stranger.”

Their answer, “Mom, she was carrying food.”


Son prior to his divorce when he owned his home, went to great lengths planting his vegetable patch. He would test the soil for what it needed to grow the plants. He would buy the top soil, tomato, jalapeño, pepper, squashes, okra, aubergine plants and fertilizer. He would make the proper beds for them, and took great care in planting them. He would faithfully water them.

The end result was failure.

Nothing survived, except for mint and weeds. 

The weeds thrived, and in no time took over the whole patch.



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Back in my home country I had an unending struggle against weeds. I could never eradicate them. The lawn in my city home was small and manageable. It could be kept in check.

The huge lawns in the village home were in miserable state. Weeds ran rampant there. My late husband and I spent little time there. Whoever we kept in charge never did his job properly and was (is) a source of constant irritation. 

Whenever we were there I tried to find time in tackling the weeds. I would tire myself outright. Next time when we would go, I would find my previous efforts had gone down the drain. Despite my backache I never gave up, and never will.

When I reach my village home, and after throwing open windows and doors, I start pulling the weeds out. In the village, I spend more time outdoors than indoors. Women relatives of my husband usually come to visit me once they know that I have come. While they keep me company I keep up the attack on my enemy number one. 




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