’s Tator Patch Essay, Research Paper

Grandpa?s Tator Patch

Many places have a special meaning to me. Each place is special in its own way for different reasons. The place that is most special to me is Grandpa?s ?Tator Patch.?

When I was a little girl, my grandpa had many gardens. The potato garden was by far my favorite. Grandpa and I called it the ?Tator Patch.”

The Tator Patch was behind my grandparents? house. The potato garden was the largest garden; potatoes were the only vegetable planted in that garden. There was an acre and a half covered by hundreds of potato plants. When I was six years old, it seemed like it went on forever. I would run up and down the rows bare foot just to feel the silky dirt beneath my feet. My grandpa would sit laughing and say, ?You keep stirring up all of the dirt and we won?t have any dirt left to plant in!?

Standing outside the garden looking in, it looked a lot differently. From the end of each row, the plants looked like we planted them in a straight row. While standing in the garden, one could plainly see that the plants were not in a perfect row. The green color of the plants was beautiful in massive amounts; however, the beauty of an individual plant could not compare to the beauty of the entire garden.

Although the garden was beautiful, it holds much more meaning to me than just its appearance. The Tator Patch was where Grandpa and I spent quality time together. I spent many days watching his every move. He was the teacher, and I was the student. He taught me how to plant, care for, dig, and gather the potatoes. Planting was not all that

fun. Grandpa did most of the up keep, while I kept him company. I had my own little shovel to dig with, of coarse; I did not make much progress due to my size.

My favorite task was gathering the potatoes after Grandpa dug them up. Grandpa would place buckets at the ends and middles of each row. The buckets were used to put the potatoes in after he dug them up. I would go from plant to plant sorting through the dirt and picking out the potatoes. Then, I would carry the dirty potatoes to the buckets. With each full bucket I felt happier and happier. Just seeing all of those buckets of potatoes gave me a real sense of accomplishment.

At the end of the day, my grandpa would buy me an ice cream. We would sit and talk about how much we had done that day. Grandpa would laugh at me because I was so dirty. I loved getting dirty from head to toe. The unique smell of the dirty potatoes covered my clothes and hair. Grandma would say that he was trying to turn me into a boy. Then she would sweep me up and carry me off for a bath.

Summer after summer, Grandpa and I worked in the Tator Patch. Those were the happiest days of my childhood. He found great joy in spending this time with me. We never got tired of being together, even though we were working hard in the hot sun. After we had harvested all of the potatoes, we would take them into town to sell them. I loved getting to go and sit with him all day. We used this time wisely by talking about all kinds of things. He would tell me old stories about himself when he was little like I was. We would discuss what we were going do differently in the Tator Patch the next year.

When I was twelve years old, things changed. I worked harder that year than I ever did before. I noticed that Grandpa was getting tired easily, and he needed a lot more rest than he ever did before. I took upon myself many tasks that use to be his. That year at harvest time, Grandpa could not help me finish what we had started together. I wanted him to be proud of me, so, I finished out that year without a single complaint. I wanted him to know that he could count on me and that he had taught me well. That was the last year that we worked in the tator patch together. My life was forever changed that year.

On a cold December day, I sat in front of Grandpa on the floor starring up into his crystal blue eyes. He began to explain why he was so tired. He had been diagnosed with cancer. From that time forward, I stayed by his side. I mentally soaked up everything about him, because I knew he would not be with me much longer.

On a rainy spring day, as I sat at the kitchen table the phone rang. I knew what the call was about; no one had to tell me. Grandpa had died. Immediately, I grabbed his jacket off the coat rack, and ran out of the house down into the Tator Patch. As the rain streamed down my face mixing with the many tears I had cried, I found comfort that I could not get anywhere else in the world. In some strange way, the Tator Patch was telling me that everything was going to be all right.

Grandpa died when I was fourteen years old. Since then, there has never been a garden planted where the Tator Patch once was. Now, every time I go to my grandparents? house, I take a slow, memorable walk down the path leading to the Tator Patch. As I pass the shed where we kept our gardening equipment, I look, recalling how we use to put away every tool at the end of the day. Farther down the path, I come across

the pine trees that he and I planted for Grandma. Among the trees sits the old, rusted wheel barrel in which we used to haul the potatoes.

Finally, I come to the place where there was once a beautiful ?Tator Patch.? I imagine the wind blowing through the plants and making a rattling noise. I turn toward the sun to feel the heat on my face that I felt so many days there long ago. Bending down, I run my fingers through the dirt, and recall the childish way I use to cover myself in it. As I stand there, I recall all of the time I spent there with my grandpa. An overwhelming feeling of love and happiness fills my heart. For a moment, it is like he is there with me, once again, in the ?Tator Patch.?


This paper is about my Grandfather and I. All of the material within this paper is true. In my opinion, this is the best paper I ever wrote. Since this paper is about my Grandfather it is hard for me to read because it is so personal. I am very proud of this and I hope that you enjoy it.


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