Friday, November 29, 2013


(From Facebook.)

The winter solstice is upon us. The days are getting shorter. The nights are getting progressively longer and colder. We need solstice celebrations to brighten up this dismal period of time. I wonder what they do to celebrate the same phenomenon "down under" six months later. All this stuff developed in the religions of the northern hemisphere so the denizens of the southern hemisphere are stuck doing it backwards.

I'll have to bring some frost sensitive plants in before the end of the coming week. I guess I'll try to protect the gardenia I planted three years ago by trying to remember to cover it and turn a warming light on every frosty night. I inadvisedly bought it because I love the great perfume of gardenia flowers. They do great in Pasadena. Not so much here. If I get three or four flowers each spring, I'm lucky. Hardly worth the extra water and care. But, I hate to let a beautiful plant just die. I'm sentimental that way.

I guess it goes back to my college days when I discovered gardenia corsages to give my dates on the one or two dance nights we had each year. The girls went wild about them, especially the year when paychecks were delayed and we guys raided the gardenia and other flowering plants on campus to make our own corsages and place them in the plastic fronted sacks in which our laundered, starched and pressed shirts were returned to us by the laundry service. I think those corsages were appreciated much more than the ones we spent good money to buy. Anybody can buy a corsage if they have money, but it takes real caring to figure out how to provide one when you're just plain broke.

My sister had a gardenia bush outside her back door when they lived in Pasadena and when I went to conduct my mother's memorial, it was in bloom. I picked one of those blossoms and pinned it to her lapel as she laid in state in her casket. It was the least I could do as a tribute to one of the most important girls in my life. It would be nice to think that she was somehow aware, but I have no reason to believe that is possible.

Again, I had no idea what I was going to write when I clicked on this box. Now, I know how syndicated writers do it so regularly. You just start out and it flows from deep inside -- if you're a writer at heart.

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