Tuesday, May 26, 2015

honeysuckle reminiscence

Because yesterday was Memorial Day, it was a glorious three-day weekend for me - the stuff that retirement dreams are made of.  It is a remarkable luxury to wake up in the morning of my own free will and not by an alarm clock, or garbage truck, or woodpecker on the gutter, or Molly scratching my face to be fed, or Someone flipping on the TV.  For two mornings in a row, I got to wake up on my own volition.  It was marvelous!

We had three beautiful days, but sadly, I didn’t take my kayak out.  There was just not enough time.  The weekend melted away and is only a distant memory now.
One thing I did do was drive over and take in an afternoon with Sarah.  We had another marvelous adventure together!  This time, we visited an Amish greenhouse not far from where she lives.  The greenhouse had Amish girls running it.  Amish people are interesting because they are…well…different.  At least based on their appearance, I assume they are different.  Perhaps behind closed doors, they are just like the rest of us – cussing, drinking, and watching trash on TV.  Visiting a greenhouse is one of my most favorite things to do.  Visiting a greenhouse with Sarah who also loves greenhouses is nothing short of AWESOME!  We wandered through, taking our time, and making plans for our future gardens.  We bought a cartload of lovely plants.   

We almost bought roses but we mutually talked ourselves out of them.  As soon as we started discussing about how to care for roses (spray them with fungicide after every rain, and watch out for those Japanese beetles)…we both had second thoughts.  Sarah wants a Peace rose and I want a Mr. Lincoln rose.  Peace roses are beautiful in color, but Mr. Lincoln (a standard looking red rose) smells divine.    Someday when I have time to tend a rose garden, I will find a place and plant a bed of tea roses.  In my younger days, I used to study catalogs of roses and drool all over the glossy photos.  Sadly, I’ve killed at least six rose bushes in my life (including a Peace and a Mr. Lincoln).  

Beautiful Peace rose

For myself, I bought a full flat of zinnias.  I set these out yesterday afternoon in the corner of our vegetable garden where they will be somewhat protected from deer by a tall fence.  These count as my cutting garden; meaning, I should have beautiful zinnias to cut for bouquets to fill our house with their beautiful colors.  In theory, yes.  The reality is that I just tend to leave them growing for the butterflies and humming birds. The only ones I cut are the dead blooms so they will put out new ones.  Oh well.  Zinnias do well with neglect…my kind of flower. 

A few weekends ago, Erin and Emily were off to the mall.  They wouldn’t tell me what they were shopping for, so I knew they were going to get me a Mother’s Day present.  I told them if they had to get me something, to make it something small, like a plant.  Erin asked me what kind of plant I wanted.  Before I could reply, she asked (with a rather sinister gleam in her eyes), “How about a nice SUCK-u-lent?”  It struck me as funny, the way she said it, so I said, “Yes!  A succulent would be awesome.”  Lo and behold, on Mother’s Day, Erin presented me with a succulent…I don’t know its variety.  All it said on the tag was succulent-don’t over water-give it sun.

Honestly, I’ve really never had an affinity for succulents or cacti.  But as a new owner, I was compelled to research them a bit to give my new plant a decent chance.  After watching some YouTube videos about succulent gardens, I wanted to make one.  At the Amish Greenhouse, they had a whole table of succulents, and they sold a variety of containers perfect for making succulent gardens.  I bought three more succulent specimens, and assembled my little garden Saturday morning.  I love it!  The one Erin gave me is the lighter-green one straight across from the big rock.  There is space for another, but I will take my time to find it.      

My succulent garden

Someone and I took Miss Gracie for several long walks over the weekend.  You might remember I said that black locust trees smell more wonderful than anything on this planet.  The locusts have shed their blooms and now the honeysuckle has taken over.  Whereas the locust trees are like sweet perfume, honeysuckle is heavy and utterly intoxicating.  Maybe the difference is because the locust blooms are mostly higher up in the air, whereas honeysuckle vines start at the ground and grow up to choke the bushes and trees.  They grow along every fence row too.  The scent is so strong that sometimes you can even taste it. 


During my summers in the country at St Paul, Kentucky, my great grandparents, grandmother, great aunts, and great uncles sat outside in the yard in the late evenings until time for bed.  There was no air conditioning so the inside of the house was a bit stuffy and too warm.  My brothers and I would catch lightening bugs, or find things to do in the yard that didn’t bother the old folks.  The farm was near the mouth of a hollow, Scaffold Lick hollow.  I’m not sure how it got its name, but “lick” in any name implies there was a source of salt back in those hills somewhere.  What I remember most about those evenings was the scent of honeysuckle.  A breeze came out from the hollow when the sun dropped below the horizon, carrying with it that lovely smell.  The windows and doors were left open (with screens, of course).  By morning, the house was cool.  The scent of honeysuckle lingered until mid-morning. 

My trip to Louisiana has been postponed.  Thank you, God and Jesus.  

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