Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

Last week’s blog was about phase one.  The Planting Phase of flowers.  Nurturing those little stamen and pistils into adulthood is something else altogether.  And, this is where Mrs. Jekyll and Hyde of the Garden gets frightening.

When you meet my lovely bride, you meet a serene, beautiful lady.  When you see her at parties, you discover someone socially astute at making people feel comfortable in her home — a woman of style and grace.    Trust me, if you could see her in the flower garden.....

Several years ago, I watched her garden temperament evolve when friends gave her a tall green plant for her birthday in March.  It was a beautiful exotic plant.  She loved it.  The first of April, we had a warm, sunny day.  My wife celebrated this coming of Spring and decided she would move the plant outside to summer and grow on our screened-in back porch.

That evening the weather forecast said "frost."  So, I was told to bring the lovely plant back inside.  Two days later we had another warm day.  Out went the plant. Then another frost warning.  Back inside. We did this four more times during the next two weeks.  Finally, I heard my wife whisper to the plant, "I'm not bringing you inside again.  Live or die."

That plant withstood a hard frost.  

That should have given me a clue about my wife's insistence that things perform as expected.  

As it happened, warm weather settled in and mounds of fresh flowers were planted (and moved occasionally).   Then the rains came.  For days.  The plants drooped from too much water and no sun.

I came home from work one day and found a large pile of formerly planted annuals in the garbage can.

"What are these?"

"Rejects.  I'm throwing them away," she said, obviously put out.

"You just planted them."

"They weren't growing!"

"It's been raining for days," I told her.  "The rule of thumb is that plants need sun.  Leave them alone for a week and see what happens."

"They weren't growing, so I tossed them.  I'll get new ones tomorrow."

I knelt down and held my ear against the wilted flowers.

"What are you doing?"  She clearly was not amused.

"Can't you hear them? They're screaming 'Save me.  Save me.'"

She pointed her finger at me.  "You're next."

That evening I cooked dinner, did the laundry, cleaned all three bathrooms and offered to polish the silver.  I wasn't going to find myself in the garbage can with limp pansies.

Date of Blog Story: 
July 21, 2008

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