Working On The Positives


Steve Nauman

Grandpa Verne, my great grandfather, sparked some of my first interest in vegetable gardening. Grandpa was born in 1880 so many of his methods would have definitely been considered “old school” but they worked! For instance….. I can remember helping him plant his sweet corn…mainly because I had “caught” the fertilizer for the corn in the river! 

Grandpa Verne planted sweet corn in hills—not rows. Each small hill of soil would have 5 seeds of corn, with each ‘hill’ being about 2 feet apart in all directions. BUT…..buried several inches underneath those mounds were carp-small 10 to 12 inch fish that I had caught in the river for grandpa to use for ‘fertilizer’. He told me that the fish would provide the nutrients the plant needed to grow and as the ears developed.

That “old school” method of growing sweet corn might have been a little labor intensive and might seem even ridiculous to some, but it produced some really nice sweet corn from a fairly small plot of ground! 

In addition to learning about gardening from grandpa, it was fun to hear tidbits of how “things used to be” sprinkled with wisdom…..

Grandpa Verne said something that day, that I can still remember and it didn’t have anything to do with gardening or growing things at all. In fact, at the time I don’t think I really knew what he was talking about at all! He was telling me that as I go through life, the negatives will always take care of themselves, so I will always have to work on the positives.

At the time, the only thing that made sense or that I could relate to was the positive and negative terminals of a battery. But, it didn’t take long until I started to learn what grandpa was trying to teach me that day—because sometimes it seems like we can always get in situations where the negativity is just surrounding us! That’s when I remember those words he told me… on the positives.

Maybe some other ways we can work on the positives can be found in the following two verses:

”If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”  Romans 12:7-8 (NLT)

Thanks Grandpa Verne, I’ll keep tryin!

Till Next Time…..

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Steve Nauman

These wonderful posts are written by my good friend Steve Nauman. He lives on a farm in northern Indiana with his wife, Ruth.

He owned and operated a machine shop until 2020. These stories come from the people and experiences that made lasting impressions upon him as he grew up in his father's general store in Upstate NY and later in his own business.