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Ernie Jones

After I weed our flower beds or garden, I relax. for the weeds are gone, aren't they? I can now forget about weeds; that is until I am brought back to earth by a statement, "The border along the driveway is getting weedy," or, "The carrots need some attention." Until I heard these words, I figured there were no weeds for after all, hadn't I weeded them several weeks ago? When this was written, the outside temperature was flirting with, and even passing the 100-degree Farenheit mark. In this sweltering heat, no one wishes to work in the garden. So, if it is too hot to work in the garden in the daytime, then work in it at night. What, did I hear you say, "I need light?"Not long ago, I was faced with just this situation. The potatoes needed to be dug before the winter squash vines completely covered them. But I wasn't eager to dig them in the heat, so I thought I would just do the same as I did several years ago.The sun had bid us "good night," and the outside temperature was a comfortable 78 degrees Farenheit when I headed out to the potato patch and set to work. I finished one row and carried the full pails to the patio where I emptied them into boxes. Then back for the next row. I had to be careful when I came to the rambling squash vine, but I think I managed OK.I listen to the frogs in the nearby stream and the answer of the crickets in the pasture. But for the most part I worked in blissful silence.Shortly after midnight I emptied the last spud into the boxes and put the digging fork away. Then, after turning the lawn sprinkler system on, I entered the house for a nice rewarding shower. Just before 1 a.m. I climbed into bed, very tired, but satisfied. I know I most likely missed some potatoes, probably even some large ones, but this would have been the same had I dug during the daylight hours. I can mop the floor or vacuum the carpet and it doesn't bother me if I miss a small spot, that is unless someone mentions it.Really, just how much of your daily work do you do from habit with only a cursory glance at what you are doing? You may sit before your computer, punching buttons and hardly glancing at the monitor unless in some technical work. I even know that some people drive their vehicle down the road and never see the sights they pass; they miss the beautiful blue sky overhead, the rising of the golden ball called our sun, the thunderheads rolling over the Blue Mountains. They do not see the robin sitting on the pole singing his heart out nor do they see the dew sparkling on the grass. Their eyes are only on the road, their mind on what lies ahead for them that day.OK, lest you think we blind are thankful for our blindness, let me assure you this is not the case. Consider the following:The airliner drops to the runway and shortly you see your beautiful daughter coming to meet you. Her face is radiant and you see a few changes since she left a year ago for the mission field. You see the smile on her face, the sparkle in her eyes and the curious clothing she is wearing. You rush to meet her. This is when we who are blind may often feel some self-pity, for at these times, our blindness is depressing. But quickly we banish the sadness, and our joy at her return is renewed.It is your wife, or husband's birthday, and you have something special planned. You search his or her face to read in it whether they are very pleased or maybe only slightly pleased.You look at old photos from years past or survey the beautiful shots that are now on the computer, taken on a recent trip.These are just a few of the events of life that the blind have lost forever. Yes, these simple events may cause hurt for the moment.But one must not live in the past, but in the present. Sometimes being blind is very hard, but who today doesn't have some hardship?So, get out there and enjoy what lies around you: touch, smell, listen, look and taste life; have a great day.Ernie Jones, a registered nurse, retired early due to vision loss. He and his family moved here in 1986. He can be reached at or 529-9252.

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