Saturday, June 17, 2006


Change your bookmarks because I've moved! Last week, I decided to give myself a typepad account as a birthday present, which I intended to implement on my 777th post. I have 31 more posts to go, but today I've rather impulsively decided I didn't want to wait any longer.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Old Friends/Fine Wine

This is a picture of my lifetime friend, Lorraine. The garden in which she tarries no longer exists. You can see a lot more pictures of beautiful Monson Garden flowers here The garden in these photographs was a kind a twin to the original Sparkling Lotus garden. Many of the flowers came from seeds or plants Lorraine and I shared. At the time we lived just a few towns apart and shared a gardening passion that was supportive, acquisition-encouraging, and a little competitive. Give us a couple of hours to read and talk about the Select Seeds catalog and we were very happy campers, indeed.

Many weekends found us scouring the local nurseries. Our emails were peppered with confessions of solo forays to yet more garden centers and each of us kept a standing-order for certain plants with the other. YES we would always pick up an extra six pack of stocks, salpiglossis or an extra alma potsche aster! For a few years we barely made it inside of the house during visits. Any time I see two women wandering in a yard giving painstaking consideration to the garden spaces, I smile. I feel happy for them and a little lonely that this period of my own life didn't last forever. I have so many fond memories of prowling inspections through both our gardens. One night, we were outside with a flashlight on the verge of frostbite. I also remember quite fondly the years she gave me tins full of seeds as christmas gifts. One time she even hand-colored flowers on the seed packets. I still have a few of them tucked away in special treasure boxes. And both the tins have become treasure boxes.

One day we were going to our favorite greenhouse which had a name I can barely pronounce, let alone spell. On the way I suffered a very severe spell of dizziness and nausea. It was horrible enough that I asked her to pull over and stop the car. Ever so slowly, I crawled out of the car to lie on my back at the eges of somebody's front lawn. Of course they came out - the whole three-generational family's worth of them - wouldn't YOU? I was lying on the ground so dizzy that I really didn't care what happened to me. My friend kept urging me to get up but I couldn't. The family made it across their football field's worth of front lawn before we could inconspicuously be on our way. The kids looked scared and the adults appeared to have the words potential lawsuit flashing in their brain. What had happened to me anyway? What was I doing lying on THEIR lawn???!!?

An older uncle or grandfather bent down as the world spun all around him. He asked me quite loudly if I was all right. I said I didn't know but I hoped so. For whatever reason, he laughed very hard and literally slapped his knee. I hadn't seen anyone do that since I was a kid. I thought: If I die now, my last memory will be an old man laughing to beat the Reaper while somebody So Young got taken right before his eyes.

A handful of people I didn't know suddenly had a vested interest in my life and what I did with it. As this sunk in, and the dizziness faded, I got up and my friend helped me back into the car. We proceeded, as planned, to the nursery. Later she denied yelling at me to get up because there was nothing the matter with me. I bought a butterfly bush at the nursery, and a few other things I no longer remember. Many of the plants were absolutely loaded with monarch caterpillars. To this day I associate them with uncontrollable waves of dizziness, and very good friends.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Walking Backwards In A Strange Land

For awhile now, I've wondered if some of us are living in an authentically parallel universe. How else to explain the madness that seems to reign as well as rain? I would talk about such things with somebody other than myself if everyone I know didn't have far more pressing and painfully concrete things to discuss. Knowing so many people who are truly dedicated to service work of one kind or another can be overwhelming at a time like this. Katrina's aftermath has been pulling on a lot of resources and that in turn generates a lot of email and internalized reflection. Otherwise, please bear with me while I figure out what I'm actually doing with this blog program ...