Escape with Eddie
I know the winter weather is getting to everyone because the dog and cats are playing sneaky games on one another. Alice Gertrude lies on the table and jumps on the unsuspecting soul under her — lots of squeals, meows, and hissing, it settles down for a minute, then the instant replay. Yes, I do boot them out the door, but this is only a short reprieve. All is quiet for a schooshie bit, then the fur is in the air once again. Yes, they are all friends, in a loose sort of association. However, with felines one never knows exactly when the wire will be tripped.
I know it is that time of winter when cabin fever has struck, because this is the time when the seed catalogs start to arrive. Donald is already rearranging garden beds in his mind, and I am dreaming about sitting on the deck, or the roost (the east side deck) where I can watch the world go by. This spring I can look forward to a garden overhaul in my flower beds. Things have gotten way too thick and impermeable. Even though the world looks white, catalogs are blowing the horns of spring. Every year I have great ideas. Every summer, as I laze on the deck, I think about the ideas, but somehow the energy flags when it comes to getting up and rearranging the weeds. Yes, the fact of the matter is this: Flowers are glorified weeds. I learned this from Kathy up the road on Highway 73. When you stop to think about it, every flower has come from some country's weed patch. The Minnesota state flower, the Lady Slipper, grows in its wild state, as a weed. Oh yes, but what a weed. You can actually buy them now, but they are costly.
Every year as I watch the flowers growing, I keep thinking what beautiful bouquets they will make. Yet the fact is, I never pick them. They are so perfect in their garden setting, why do I need them in a vase? Besides, I am outside most of the time on the deck or the roost. Outside I can see them in their natural state; inside, they will just droop and wilt on a table. It’s now, in the dead of winter, I need those bright blooms in the house. I imagine the bright orange of the poppies. They are one of the first plants to flower in the spring. When they start to die back, the lupines start to flower. My absolute favorites are the Delphiniums and Phlox. Especially Phlox. I can remember the scent of them from my childhood garden. There were thick clumps of them and the honey sweet scent of them perfumed the August afternoons.
When I think about the town where I was born, I remember most the scent of the springtime earth. Illinois is in Zone 5 for plants. Lily of the Valley and blue violets covered many of the yards in Evanston. Walking to school in the spring was filled with heavenly scents. No matter where you looked, there were flowers blooming around the houses. Lilacs were so perfuse in our neighborhood, the air would be permeated with their celestial scent.
As I have gotten older, I have come to appreciate more and more the joys of watching a garden grow. If it wasn’t for those pesky weeds, my garden dreams would be perfect. This summer I am definitely going to hire someone to help me weed. My old knees won’t do it anymore; kneeling is an issue. For all the attention gardens need, they are still one of God’s divine gifts to all of us. Plants teach us a lot about life. “Consider the lilies of the field, they neither toil nor spin; yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed such as one of them.”
It’s something to consider while the snow is on the ground. Spring is just around the proverbial corner. Maybe I’ll remind Alice Gertrude that spring is coming, soon she can chase moles and leave her brothers and sisters alone.