Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | May 22, 2009

Tai Chi Tomatoes and Memorial Day

All through growing up, Memorial Day was for going to the cemetary and for Dad to get his plants for the vegetable garden. He had a green thumb. And it was all a great ritual. My grandfather and much later grandmother were the first stop, in section with brass plates for markers instead of headstones. About 8 rows deep, lined up with the third tree. My uncle was next, 2 rows up and nearly lined up with the 1st tree. Then my dad’s brother, who we found because at the front of the section were buried two people whose names were the same as two guys I knew in high school who were debate partners! Then my aunt. In subsequent years, my mom, and now mom and dad. Everybody got geraniums! and American flags. Maybe dad would treat us to lunch on route 10, but then it was back home to plant the garden! The smell of the manure! The digging of deep holes. Putting in the tomatoes, adding water, and filling up the hole. Basil, lettuce, cucumbers, beans, peppermint, even melons! Dad even did corn one year. Water every day with the garden hose. We also had a beautiful grapevine and fig tree. God, those figs were delicious right off the tree. What a magical garden. The harvest was fantastic, and mom would make fresh tomato sauce and freeze several containers to be used on birthdays! What a taste. I’ll probably go to the cemetary this year. I miss my parents. I miss the rituals. I miss the garden. But I love the memories. Do I have to make the obvious connections to tai chi and taoism? I won’t. You know what they are



  1. Great story, my mom and i are planting a garden together this year. she makes pretty serious tomato sauce too. i may not be educated on the subjects of tai chi and taoism, however i do see the correlation between your story, health, and mortality.

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