Sometimes we need help to realize our dreams. Sonny Sutherby to work magic with his tractor on our new circular driveway in spring 1989, for one. And after days of raking rocks and sowing grass seed, I called Foglers Farm for straw to mulch the seed.

As we owned no truck, the brothers kindly delivered the straw to our driveway. My husband and I strewed straw upon the seed around the house. Prayed for rain. Former suburbanites, we had no idea the force of springtime’s west wind on open land.

After howling storms all night, we discovered our hard work in messy patches of straw downhill to the east, and pieces of vinyl siding torn from the house’s east side.

The builder replaced the siding. My younger daughters and I raked the straw uphill to where it belonged.

“Why do we have to help?” whined my middle daughter. “I didn’t want to move here in the first place.”

True. She preferred living in Troy’s Shoal Creek Apartments, our temporary home for fifteen months after we sold our house in Detroit. Our three girls shared the master bedroom and bath while their father and I occupied the smaller bedroom and bath.

“It was like a vacation, all of us sisters together in the same room,” my third born said of that season. “We never argued.”

Perhaps they found their compatibility in the fact that their older sister graduated from high school that spring and left for college in the fall of 1988. Occupied with building a new house and transferring our younger girls to Romeo schools, I did not foresee our eldest would not realize her dream of graduating with a college degree.

After our middle daughter’s commencement ceremonies at Alma College, our extended families celebrated her achievement. Not long after, she drove all her belongings to San Francisco where she met the man of her dreams, stuck as a teacher, and now plans to retire within a few years.

And my youngest child, the fashionista of the family? Years after she earned her degree of Bachelor of Arts, she found her place in retail’s upscale design. A dream she realized with no connections from her mother who prefers to garden and write stories.

Meanwhile, the Foglers brothers raised their sons to dream of growing quality food and beautiful flowers for folk like me. The younger generation expanded their product beyond their home-grown to their own line of jellies and dressings and local honey. And many lovely pots for home and garden.

Yet, like a bee to pollen, it’s the feast of color that attracts me to Foglers. And if I happen to pass their boys with my cart in the greenhouse, we’ll stop.

“What’s the pink field in the back about?” I asked several weeks ago.

“That’s where we’re planting tomatoes. They should be ripe by the end of July.”

Dear Reader, that’s quite a dream to realize. And I’ll help by buying my fair share.

Contact Iris at irisfarmletters@gmail. com.