Papa and the Peppers

I’ve written about my wife’s parents on PAA before. Here is a little story about her Papa and some pepper plants that you might find amusing.

Papa and the Peppers

This happened several years ago. We were staying at Mama and Papa’s house in Mindanao, waiting for my wife’s VISA to arrive.

Mama had worked all day long, carefully planting and watering small pepper seedlings in one of her gardens. There were about 500 of these seedlings, and Mama had carefully raised them from seeds she had saved and sown.

She was very proud of her work, and pointed her “babies” out to us. And it was an impressive sight: a large garden filled with two or three inch little pepper plants, each strong, healthy and eager to grow and bear the peppers that Mama hoped to one day sell in the market for a little extra money.

Night falls predictably around 6 p.m. in the Philippines, and when it did we all went to bed happy for Mama, that she had such a great start with her market garden.

My wife woke up early the next morning, and was dressed and out and about before the rest of us. Now I don’t speak Bisaya, her native language, but I could tell something was wrong when she came back into the kitchen and spoke excitedly to Mama.

They went outside, and in a few moments I heard Mama moaning something that I suppose must have been like, “Oh, my peppers! My poor peppers!”

We rushed outside, and saw that ALL her little pepper plants were laying on their side, shriveled up as if they hadn’t been watered for weeks.

Mama was distraught! She wondered what had happened overnight to her peppers, what had stricken and killed all of her healthy seedlings. It was a mystery all through breakfast, until Papa woke up and came in to the kitchen for something to eat. Without prompting from any of us, he spoke up, asking Mama about her pepper plants.

When she told him they were all dead, he was shocked. How could such a thing happen? Why, he had just put fertilizer on each and every one of them before going to bed last night?

Can you guess what had happened? In his haste to fertilize the plants before going to bed, Papa had managed to coat the little plants with a powerful fertilizer that sucked all the water out of them. He may as well have applied a herbicide!

Mama was livid! She yelled and hollered at him, accusing him of being a senile old fool. If you have ever had the misfortune to be in the presence of an angry Filipina, you know how miserable Papa felt. He tried to wander off and work on some household chores, but Mama was unrelenting. Every time she caught a glance of him, she snapped at him.

My wife tells me that this may have continued for days, (yikes! – I hope this trait isn’t inherited or learned!), but as it happened, my wife’s VISA arrived that very afternoon, and in the excitement the disaster with the pepper plants was forgotten.

But I don’t think Papa ever again volunteered to help Mama with her gardening.


Originally posted by us on FullofKnowledge.