When Dad got his GI loan, we moved out of that 'squalor' of an apartment to our own newly constructed two story family home. The reward. I remember helping my father cultivate the back-yard, preparing the land and seeding grass. He must have done the front. We had lovely Kentucky grass that came up.
On one southern corner, I had a patch of tomatoes for a while, and on the northern corner I had some watermelon, which is another story.
I was somehow in charge of the garden, weeding and such. I did have some amazing irises one year.
Most of all, I wondered about this lawn. How ideas manifest! We were now the middle class, with my Dad as a professional for the American Government. That house, that lawn confirmed it. How Amercian! How Protestant Work Ethic! The evidence and support of the rewards and righteousness of hard work.
The American Dream. And Chinese dream, too: even own a square of American land.
This was not really what came to my mind. The garden of my Italian neighbors was so appealing. The first time I ever tasted a slimy grape was in their garden. They did make their own wine in the cellar; they used these grapes and dandelion flowers for home made wine. They had rows of vegetables. chicken coops and cherry trees.
The grandma was ....well...amazing. She rolled this heavy roller around the 'farm' to pat down the soil. I couldn't move this thing if I tried. But, once a year or so, she prepared the soil.
Their yard was so productive.