HodgePodge: Tez in the garden

Tez in the garden

HodgePodge by Charlie Hodge

“Spring has sprung, the grass has riss –

“I wonders where the boidys is,” dear ole Mom would prattle off in a whimsical, musical melody on sunny spring mornings like this.

I’m not sure what the ditty meant, still don’t, and I’m not sure if mother did.

Occasionally the lyrical question was followed by another line of, “The boyd is on the wire” or something like that. The final line of the song was never clear.

Regardless, it matters not. The point being it’s a happy flashback memory I have of Mom healing in her garden on a healthy sunny, spring day. Like most of us, Mom hated being shut in during the long, cold of winter and could not wait to escape outside and shove her hands in the dirt as soon as possible.

My wife Tez and Mom would have been inseparable.

Tez began ordering seeds and products from garden catalogues and online back in December. We now have grow lights and warming seed trays in the shed, spare-room, downstairs’ kitchen, bathroom, Tez’s hobby room/office, the upstairs’ kitchen, and any window sill which is not already claimed by a cat. (Good thing we do not collect fish).

I think that as happy as I am with the obvious produce being produced by Tez – I am even more thrilled to see how happy it makes her. Among the other things Tez has on her brain, aside from family and work-related stressors, is the nonstop day to day awareness of my failing health. Since much of my work is still home based, she is subject to my coughing, wheezing, throat clearing and groaning (pretty much non stop with people in advanced stages of Emphysema or COPD) 24/7. Despite the annoying rattle and prattle Tez just continues to smile while weeding, planting or watering. The garden has become her sanctuary as well.

So far (someone touch wood) thanks to her heroic efforts and even a little earlier jump than normal by me, it appears that we are off to a good start in the garden this year. Already some direct seeds are poking their heads up and the scavenger pillage has been low.

I am hoping the reduced numbers of assaults so far by deer, racoon and (most notable) squirrels is not just a fluke or cool weather. The devastation on our vegetable crops by squirrels in the past four years has been extreme and I am hoping to avoid investing in several traps. Since there are a few friendly semi-feral cats in the neighbourhood (and it’s cruel) we also refuse to use poison for the squirrels – but we are maxed out on the frustration with the damage. If you have any helpful tips let me know.

What I do know is hearing Tez singing to herself while puttering about the tomatoes, sweet peas, lilacs,… makes me grin. Mom was right when she said there was nothing more healing and relaxing than a bucket, trowel and butt pad in a sunny garden to set the world right.


Next week’s column will involve NHL playoffs and, if room, my long-promised update on Beers with Brian. If not then I promise it the following week for Beers with Brian followers.


While you have your calendar out mark down April 27. That’s the day of Celebrate the Journey – Hope Springs Forth Gala, a fund raiser and awareness event for Kelowna-Lake Country Adult & Teen Challenge BC – Okanagan.

Doors will open at 5 p.m. for an evening that organizers promise to be filled with great food, powerful testimonies of transformed lives, music, and a riveting presentation highlighted by Colin Lancelot, a 2014 graduate of the Okanagan Men’s Centre.

Hope Springs Forth Gala takes place on that Saturday at Evangel Church in the Heritage Room, and promises an unforgettable experience, so to secure your spot contact Grace Absolom at 1-888-575-3930, Ext 412. Alternatively, tickets can be purchased on-line at teenchallengebc.com/events.

Adult & Teen Challenge BC is a non-profit Christian ministry, helping people get freedom from life-controlling issues and overcome addiction in a one-year residential program. “We exist to help people become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive!”

Previous articleSarah Dawn at Dakoda’s Comedy Lounge
Next articleCelebrate National Volunteer Week and discover new Spring and Summer programs
Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.