Public Service

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life

Mr. Wonderful has a wonderful way of being involved in the community that I’ve really sat up and taken notice of. I decided to take a page from his book, so to speak, and really up my connection to my hometown … and what do you know? There’s a merit badge for just such community spirit!

I have to admit to being a little intimidated by going to a town council meeting, but on the other side of that nervous pancake, I have always kind of wondered what they talk about in there. I mean, were they discussing the length of my grass, the state of my favorite downtown restaurants, voting in a new Bed, Bath and Beyond? What was all the chatter about every third Wednesday?

I resolved to find out by giving myself a new do and picking out an I-mean-business outfit.

First, I figured I needed a reason for going; you know, in case they drilled me or quizzed me about my presence and/or knowledge about the city itself. I’ve had this idea of starting a community garden for a while now. Well, ever since my herbs really took off and I found myself admiring my thumbs (greener by the day, wouldn’t you know), I knew I’d need more than just a harebrained scheme, so I printed out some information on other city gardens (including photos), did a little crunching of the numbers, and even brought along my neighbor, who just so happens to own half a block and doesn’t use most of it. He was more than happy to listen to my idea, and it was good practice giving him my spiel first.

I wore my take-me-serious pencil skirt and sky-high heels, since suddenly my little project was becoming my baby and I really wanted to look like I knew what I was doing! Suddenly, it wasn’t about earning a badge or impressing Mr. Wonderful; I really, really wanted that garden!

I could picture it already: small urchins—er, I mean, children—digging up carrots and munching on strawberries, moms coming out to pick fresh lettuce for their green salads, dads taking fruit in their lunchboxes instead of a bag of chips … and the Date Nights! I could just imagine Mr. Wonderful and me, strolling through the beets, hand in hand, feeding each other Swiss chard …

Ahem. Sorry, got taken away by a romantic fantasy for a minute there!

Back to business.

I was surprised at how many people I knew at the meeting, and I was equally surprised at how many I didn’t know! It was a very bonding experience, I must say. Though our opinions and priorities may have differed, we were all there for one reason:

To improve our community.

Well, except for Nude Dude who was trying to get a nudity law passed. Again. He tries this every year. We were all very proud of him for wearing clothing to the meeting.

At last, it was my turn. I was so nervous, I nearly crumpled like a lawn chair. But I took a good look at all my new friends and knew I’d be okay. I even got a smattering of applause, which I took as a good sign.

Will my community garden be a dream forever, or will it flower, blossom, and ripen? Stay tuned …

  1. Mary Beth Schwarz says:

    Good for you Jane! Involvement in the community is very important. Community gardens have helped many people enjoy gardening and given them delicious fresh food. Your new outfit and sleek hairdo are so appropriate for this new part of your life. Your fan, MB

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