Deb VE foto 1

Deb Van Engelenhoven

People have different ways of escaping the stress and difficulties in their lives. Some read; some exercise; others might work in their gardens.

Me, I do all of the above. My life-long love of reading has always given me comfort when I am in a difficult place in life. Whether it is reading this newspaper or a novel it doesn’t matter. Reading takes me to a different place in my head.

When the stories in a novel are engaging, I can become totally wrapped up in them. So much, even, that I feel as if I am actually watching a motion picture. The characters become very real to me. It is a great way to escape the stresses of the world.

Exercise became a new stress-reliever for me a few years ago when I found CrossFit and the people at CrossFit OFC. Lifting weights, doing rounds of exercises and even the comradery there can take me to an entirely different place. I forget all about everything else.

I am not a body-builder by any stretch of the imagination but I love to do the weight lifting and see how far I can push myself. I think that CrossFit has helped to keep my old joints working much better than if I didn’t do it.

Finally, the gardening. There is just something about putting your hands in that soil and watching something you have planted grow to be something wonderful. Whether it is flowers or vegetables, it all starts out with that packet of seeds.

I remember as a little girl one of my favorite jobs was to help my grandpa plant the garden. He called me his apprentice and it made me very happy to have that title.

Of course, back then, we planted enormous gardens that were filled with everything we would need to sustain us through the winter. Things like potatoes, carrots, corn, peas, and beans. There wasn’t room for planting things that weren’t practical or couldn’t be canned in the pressure cooker or kept in the cellar.

Now I like to experiment planting things that don’t keep as long like lettuce and watermelon. Just because it needs to be eaten quickly once it is harvested doesn’t mean that I enjoy it less.

For a few years now my husband I have not planted a large garden if any garden at all. This year we have a little granddaughter that has really become determined to help us plant a big garden again. She also wants to add a new flower garden.

I think having a little garden apprentice will be a wonderful stress reliever for me this summer.