True story...... I was talking to an old friend a few months back. Not just any old friend mind you. You see my friend Bruce was my first friend in Florida after I moved here from New England. I moved here when I was 17 after going to school with the same 54 kids from 1st grade through 11th. If I remember correctly all 54 kids were white, Catholic and used to snow days. When I arrived at Deland High School in 1983 it was a completely different world. Bruce, originally from Florida, befriended me and taught me things I've never considered or seen. Like skipping school so we could spend the day at Daytona Beach. Back in New England the beach didn't have quite the same attraction! After (barely!) graduating we became plumbers together, got married, had kids and our families were tight. Now we didn't become just plumbers together, we became the best, toughest, hardest working, smartest and manliest plumbers together. Not the fat plumber that you call to come fix your leak under your sink with his butt crack hanging out. We were that guys boss. No, we were new construction plumbers. The ones that plan, design and install the plumbing in your new house or office. We were tough & smart. We could dig all day installing pipe in the Florida sun , carry a 300lb tub to your 2nd floor bathroom and party afterword and then do it again the next day, and the next day, and then the next day. Tough, smart & tan. Manly men.
Well as time went on, divorce, age, drugs and life changes happened and I moved to Ocala and didn't see much of him. As the past 15 years have gone by we've stayed barely in touch, growing farther and farther apart.
Hence, the phone call.
Bruce said, "So, haven't seen you in awhile......do you have any hobbies?"
Immediately I started thinking "Ummmm, I'm 42 with 4 kids, a struggling business trying to survive, I don't have any hobbies.......I suck!..... Oh wait! My garden!". So I said "Well actually I garden"
The Manly Man Plumber said, "Oh..... garden....... that's pretty cool, what do you grow, tulips and flowers"?
Feeling kinda girlie I said, "No, no (actually yes) I grow (a more manly) vegetables, like tomatoes".
"Oh, tomatoes. Very nice.", the manly man said.
Trying to justify I said, " Yeah, you should see how much digging is involved"!
"Cool" he said and we moved on to another topic and then hung up.
After the phone call I started to think "You know I love gardening. I love growing veggies for my vegetarian wife. I love not paying grocery store prices for veggies and I love the spiritual connection I get from tilling the ground".
I'll always love ya Bruce, but I've moved on to growing Manly Tomatoes.
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