O Lord, I thank You for volunteer flowers that beautify our yard. Yet, having seeded this flourishing patch BEHIND, not in front of our forsythia bushes, OMG, are You hiding a grin?
Trendy, multicolored foliage is attractive. Sophisticated.
But bunches of leaves don’t excite me. Flowerpots and flower beds should contain flowers.
As a child, I cherished my mother’s roses. Is there such a thing as too much love? Probably, as I nosed them frequently. Mom also created Rose of Sharon ladies for my sister and me. Turning the bell-shaped flowers upside down, she made petal gowns and attached blossoming buds for headdresses. Voila! Ladies at an elegant tea party.
I prefer flowers to pets. They don’t bark or yowl under my window at midnight. They never awaken me at six a.m.
My passion sent me — er, my husband — into our grass-only backyard with his mighty tiller. This sun-fried area already had killed redbuds, lilacs and a rosebush. To console me, Hubby had built an arbor on which we hung pots of geraniums and petunias. Most survived. Sufficient … for a while.
This flower child wanted more. Vision of multicolored loveliness danced through my head.
Hubby wasn’t into visions. He’s all about measurements. “How long do you want this flower bed? How wide? Square? Rectangle?”
“I want an oval.”
If I’d shaped the flower bed, it would have resembled a giant amoeba. Using his trusty tape measure, though, Hubby designed a perfect, 15-foot oval. Then he tackled removing sod.
I ordered bulk seeds. No more skinny packets for this flower child. No more dead, expensive perennials. My oval would teem with thrifty zinnias, cosmos and marigolds that love to sunbathe. They defy weeds. They may even chomp on them at night.
Although five pounds of seeds amounted to, um … a lot.
“Let’s fill the yard with marigolds,” I told Hubby. “You’ll never have to mow again.”
“Sure. If you want to dig out all the sod.”
I withdrew my motion.
Having raked compost and manure (hey, I worked, too), I broadcast seeds throughout my oval, then sowed them in other flower beds. Offered them to friends. Sneaked baggies of seeds into mailboxes at night.
Now, yellow, pink, orange, red, fuchsia and white blossoms dip and wave in a lovely backyard ballet.
Enough flower power for even this flower child.
I haven’t used/given away all my seed. New amoeba-shaped flowerbeds may be in my future.
And if you check your mailbox for baggies, maybe in yours?
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What are your favorite summertime flowers?
OMG, when our world tries to stamp out everything beautiful, I’m thankful You aren’t a quitter. You never stop recreating it!
O Lord, Your daffodils insist on showing up every February. Don’t they know basketball tourney time lurks in the near future, with its usual accompanying blizzard? Yet nothing keeps them down. OMG, help me believe in the Resurrection as much as they do.
Apartments worked for Hubby and me — until a percussion major moved upstairs. Then, upon expecting our first child, we learned our complex was a drug trafficking center.
We rented a house.
The only upstairs residents were squirrels. They pattered across the roof, but none sold drugs or played xylophones.
We possessed three whole bedrooms and a garage. No more scraping ice off car windows. Hubby and I began to succumb to the American Dream. …
However, the driveway didn’t shovel itself. Our house boasted a real yard — whose grass never stopped growing. Flowers I planted attracted real weeds. We purchased a shovel, mower and garden tools. Lawn chairs. And …
The infinite to-buy list should have warned us about home ownership.
But tired of paying rent, I longed to choose the colors of walls and carpet. Bang nails to hang pictures without asking permission.
So, we built a little ranch in a new addition … where roads hadn’t been completed. Also, water and sewage hadn’t yet been connected to the town’s system. During that inflationary era, the special 12 percent mortgage seemed cheap, compared to an earlier 21.5 percent prime rate.
We brought two newborns to that ranch. Mysterious stains marred my carefully chosen colors. I spent years watering grass and breastfeeding babies. Neither was ever satisfied. I also discovered I wasn’t handy. If I banged a nail into one wall, a gaping hole appeared in the opposite one.
The American Dream?
One other house we owned ate water heaters and softeners. Another featured a pillow-soft porch roof, as well as a toilet that randomly ran over and soaked anyone playing Ping-Pong in the basement.
We occasionally considered living in a grass hut in Bongo Bongo.
Still, Hubby and I have called all three houses “home.”
Home, where our babies took first, shaky steps. Where they learned to watch for traffic as they walked to school. Home, where we took prom and graduation pictures. Home, where they and their children now come for holidays.
Home is the only place where Hubby and I can put feet on the furniture. Where we can blow up and make up. Bake brownies, eating them all without anyone judging.
Our American Dream is no HGTV superstar, but at this address, we can be us.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What home-owning adventures have you experienced?
Jesus, thank You for the beauty and grace of the deer You created. I’m thankful You preserved them on Noah’s Ark. But OMG, did those lovely Bambis and Falines wreak havoc there the way they do in my yard?
O Lord, You know I didn’t plant these cosmos invading my arbor; having lived there last year, they simply assumed a welcome.
Ditto for these zinnias that interrupt my marigold border.
I’ve never planted petunias this color, yet they mooch off my orange impatiens.
OMG, are You teaching me Your interruptions and invasions of my plans can be lovely?
O Lord, I am such a fan of the flowers You make! But OMG, why, though I water, fuss, and pamper, do they sometimes act as if I’m doing my best to kill them?
O Lord, Your infinite mind has designed an infinite number of beautiful things, but surely, peonies must near the top of your lovely list. OMG, thank You that while our politicians don’t always get it right, they were smart enough to name it Indiana’s state flower!
Whether wide open, singing to a glorious, sunny sky or pursing lip-petals in a demure pout, tulips are delightful harbingers of spring.
My tulips, the teenagers of the flower world, refuse to get out of bed. I sacrificed knees and back to lavish exotic foods on them. Yet, they only lift a limp leaf or two.
Bloom? Too much trouble. Besides, why should they be bound by my expectations?
Each spring, I waited again. Again.
“Hey,” I yelled, “you’re supposed to be perennials!”
I stumbled over a “Do Not Disturb” sign erected by the tulip that had drawn the short straw.
One greenhouse declared tulips will faithfully bloom every spring … if I relocate to the Turkish Himalayas foothills. The fussy lovelies crave their native habitat’s hot, dry summers and extreme winters. Dutch growers have devoted 400 years to discovering ways to imitate these conditions. They have learned, as Mary Beth Breckenridge in the Chicago Tribune once suggested, to “think like a bulb.”
With all due respect to the Netherlands, I’d rather retain IQ points, thank you very much.
Only once have my tulips bloomed more than one season. Even then, contrary red ones, planted to border pink tulips, bloomed two weeks early. They formed a lovely circle … around dirt.
At least, the tardy pink tulips created a clump of color. For two days. Then, strong winds blew them flat.
Still, hopelessly in love with gardeners’ photos, I again fertilized and hoed. On my knees, I planted more bulbs.
The next morning, I peered outside at my perfect flower bed … only to meet squirrels’ chittery scorn. My efforts had supplied a Golden Corral buffet for little thieves.
Something inside me snapped. I dashed outside, yelling and swinging a hoe like a Mr. McGregor samurai. “Hi-yah!”
The squirrels escaped unhurt, laughing.
Rush hour drivers zooming past also enjoyed the show.
Why did they laugh? Just because I still wore my nightgown …
Once, though, I outwitted the squirrels, planting bulbs in a different bed. The following spring, these bloomed in glorious display.
For two days. Then deer devoured every last one.
Will I ever tiptoe through my own tulips?
When I talk Hubby into moving to the Himalayas.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Do your tulips bloom every year?