creators home lifestyle web
Mary Hunt icon


Whose Kids Know How to Turn Off Lights? I got a good chuckle when I read today's first reader tip from "Dad." For a split second there, I could hear my own father asking the age-old parent/child question: Don't you know how to turn off the light when you leave the room? MOTION SENSOR …Read more. Of Pet Accidents and Malfunctioning Keurig Machines Dear Mary: I saw in your column a long while back an article about the carpet scrubber (was it Bissell?) and poo-pooed it at the time. Now I am ready to cry UNCLE since I discovered to my horror that one of my cats was shut in a bedroom and peed on …Read more. Like Finding Money You Didn't Know You Had You know the feeling when reach into the pocket of a coat you haven't worn for awhile and pull out a $20 bill? What would it feel like if you pulled out hundreds of dollars? And what if you found money like that month after month? It's not magic &#…Read more. Best Holiday Gifts for Grandparents As far as gifting seasons go, the biggest one of all is just around the corner. The longer you wait to make or buy gifts, the fewer options you'll have. Last minute shopping is a surefire way to run up mountains of unintentional debt. Been there, …Read more.
more articles

Lessons From My Garden


There's something magical about dirt. Digging in it clears my mind. It's like hitting "refresh" on my computer screen. Things pop into proper perspective.

I experience nature's therapy in the solitude of my tiny garden. And I have learned some important lessons, too.

—Start early.

I've made feeble attempts to grow sweet peas in years past, always with the same disappointing results. Imagine my surprise when I read I was planting way too late. Sweet peas need to be sown into the ground long before winter — in the fall. I was months off.

The same is true for planting a financial nest egg. Starting early is the way to experience a spectacular harvest. Money needs the power of time for it to grow strong roots that run deep.

—Hang on tight.

I had no idea one fall when I planted my sweet peas what lay ahead for those tiny seeds. Not two months later, Southern California experienced months of record-breaking precipitation. We got rain in spades.

The storms were harsh, yet my sweet peas hung on for dear life. They refused to let go — and certainly not because they received encouragement from me. For all I knew, they were long gone, because the bed showed no signs of life. In their own quiet way, though, they were alive, burrowing down to ride it out.

Life's storms hit all of us from time to time. And when they do, we have a choice: We can either cave in and let the storms carry us out to sea or dig in and refuse to let go.

—Give or give up.

Once my sweet peas began to bloom, I was hesitant to cut them.

They just looked so pretty on the trellis. But here's the deal with sweet peas: If you do not cut them regularly, they stop blooming altogether.

For many weeks, I faithfully cut as many long-stemmed blooms as my vines produced. If I cut one bouquet on Monday, I was sure to have two bouquets on Tuesday.

Giving is the secret of never running out. But it takes a leap of faith to cut that first harvest. Soon you realize you have more than you had before. So you give again, and you give more. And the more you give the more you have to give. The more you bless others the more blessed you become.

—Winter's coming.

No matter how beautiful my garden is today, I know it won't last forever. So each day, I try to enjoy the garden for the moment and save a mental picture for the future. This way, when the days grow short and winter settles in, I know I can always reach back into my memory bank.

Being diligent to always save something for the future is the secret for how to come through the difficult seasons of life. It's nice to know you always will have sweet peas in December.

Mary Hunt is the founder of and author of 18 books, including her best-selling classic "Debt-Proof Living." You can email her at, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723. To find out more about Mary Hunt and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



1 Comments | Post Comment
I wish I liked to garden, but I grew up on a farm. I hate gardening. If I had my way, I'd live in a loft with maybe a few flowerpots. Astroturf would be fine for the yard, too.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Joannakathryn
Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:32 PM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right: comments policy
Mary Hunt
Dec. `15
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month