Randa’s class learned about gardens about a month ago, and ever since, she has been asking me if we can PLANT STUFF.

My idea of planting has to do with planting myself on the couch with my iPad and a cookie after a long day. I can ‘make-do’ with most things I try, but I can honestly say I suck at gardening.

My father, however, is a true green thumb, so I thought, Maybe it skips a generation. I also thought, this is what homeschooling is all about. I will learn with her.
I picked up a few pots, a bag of dirt, and 3 packets of organic seeds. Randa’s only request (as far as edible things – pink flowers were a given and will come already blooming) was carrots. I have heard many success stories about herb gardens, so I also chose cilantro. And, my uncle told me that lettuce is a great thing to plant with a quick payoff. Whalah. A garden was planned.


Due to our recent move to Crazytown (metaphorically, as the actual move is still 41-ish days away), Randa has had to patiently wait for this task to commence. It ended up taking us about 20 minutes, completed while our dinner (white chicken chili) was simmering on the stove).

We planned on Sunday to do it Monday after school. Then Monday at lunch, I was informed by two members of the Good Christian Men Rejoice Club* that planting season is over. Here. In South Carolina.

WHAT? I mean, in Chicago, May is normally what we call The Great Thaw. How can planting season be OVER?

I looked at those seed packets, and behold, both the lettuce and carrots suggest Feb-Mar and Sept-Oct for planting. You know, I just didn’t ever need to know that up in Da Heights. Nonetheless…in true Burton style, we planted them anyway, with a lick and a prayer and a hope for a harvest that defies logic.

And yes, we used a beach shovel for our planter-digger-thing (isn’t that what they’re called?)


When we were done, KK went to play in her clubhouse (aka: the minivan), and while the chili was thickening, Miranda and I worked on labels for the pots. This put our phonics and writing practice to use. HOMESCHOOL!

Today for my other job, I met a man who has been in the movie and concessions business for years. He was an unending source of knowledge about popcorn machines and ice makers and fun stories about concessions set-ups and crises and movie weekends. While he was talking, I looked at my friend and co-worker Terrie and said, This is why I’m going to homeschool. That man’s stories were a whole day of lessons…maybe a whole unit. And I was fascinated to learn from him.

Terrie asked me how I am going to do it. I don’t blame her. Like I said, it is CRAZYtown right now trying to get a start-up running with just a few of us on the job. And my answer remains: I don’t know, but I know I will. I believe it is what God is telling me to do right now, so how can I refuse, and how can I not trust He will show me the way?

Whether it gives us a half hour of planting things that may or may not grow or a half hour of learning about popcorn practices, the world really is a schoolhouse. I sure feel blessed to be learning, still, on a daily basis. I am excited to do so alongside my kids, planting not just stuff, but sowing good seeds…you know, the metaphorical kind.

*Since I began working every day with a bunch of good ol’ Christian boys, I had to give them a nickname. And since I think of them as Good Christian Men, the song “Good Christian Men Rejoice” always pops into my head. There you have it…

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