At least I think so. Indeed, we went out looking for flowers yesterday, carrying our carefully written list. At our first stop, it took us probably 45 seconds or so to abandon the careful list of petunias, geraniums and the sort, and head to impatiens and roses and portulaca and all their friends, which of course meant we left that first nursery with twice the flowers we thought we were going to get. Typical. Still, we had no hanging baskets to put on the gazebo, and no big ginormous pots to put in front of the garage doors. So, after that next stop, and more opportunity to participate in the American dream of carpeting our country in flowers, we crammed the rest into the back of the Mazda CX-5, and headed home.
Except… when we got the huge pot for the front of the house, there was only one of its kind. Sort of like the Loch Ness Monster. “Don’t worry!” the nice plant lady said, “We have another just like it out at the farm.” Of course, it was out there, and not in front of us, but she assured us that they could have it out to the store within two hours. However, even though Fargo is not a giant metropolitan area, it is pretty big and pretty long, and we were purchasing the pot on the far north end of town, while we find our home on the far south end. I knew what was going to happen. We made the deal, and I drove Cheri and our horde of plants home, unloaded the racks and flats of flowers into the garage, also dumping off the potting soil (which, by the way, when you buy potting soil and you think you will need, say, 5 bags full, be sure to get SIX bags because you just know you will come to the end of your planting and be about a half cubic foot short).
I then went inside, fired up my computer, read the news for the day, did a crossword puzzle, and then kissed my wife goodbye an hour later, and headed back up north to pick up the pot of flowers.
Sure enough, when I got there, it was up at the front by the cash register just waiting for me to buy it like I did its twin brother. The only trouble was, while I had been gone, most of north Fargo decided it was time to buy flowers, and so a small Quonset greenhouse had become packed with dozens of folks, all with fists full of money searching to buy a salvia or a pansy. I searched and found the end of the checkout line, which put me about 10 people back.
Now, I’m not a great proponent of solar heating, but yesterday, standing in the plastic Quonset, I discovered it really works! Two hours earlier with cloudy skies, the temp inside was about 78 degrees. As I stood there, crammed in line with people on each sides trying to elbow their way to the marigolds and white geraniums, I was sure we had topped the century mark… The only water available was a large stock tank full of suspicious green stuff that they used to water the thousands of plants, so I decided to stay thirsty.
Finally, I got to the front, gave over my money, took my huge pot, and began the long drive back home. I could have been a bit more judicious about the route I took, because I happened to pass the university just as the spring graduation was letting out. Lots more people to meet. What fun.
I did make it home, and “we” decided that our task tomorrow (today) would be to plant the acreage, as well as finally staining the three giant egress windows that we had been putting off for months.
It is now mid to late afternoon here in the Northland. I can report that ten – or eleven – pots have been planted, the outside yard smells like oil stain, and the only two things left to do are plant the roses, which will require pulling back the rock in the border garden and making sure those little finicky things are happy in their new home. I assured Cheri I would do it this week – sometime.
So, as for now, we are finished with Flower Campaign 2021. Of course, now we move into phase two, which means we will spend the next five months keeping the flowers watered and happy, especially since after months of subnormal temps, we are promised full mid-80s for at least the next week.
But that’s all part of the joy, right? To have responsibilities, and chores, and expectations, right? I mean, after all, otherwise we would simply live an easy life, doing what we care, and never really knowing satisfaction from a good job done. Right? As I think about it, if that’s the worst that evermore happens to me, then I probably can count my life as truly blessed. I am just so very glad to have the two last major projects of spring completed – and now it’s summer!
Word for the day: disaster, Pronounced dih-ZAZZ-tour. It’s a word with lots of places in language, from the French desastre, to Italian disastro, to the Greek origin of dis, meaning “bad,” and aster, meaning “star.” The Greeks believed all disasters were brought about by the bad alignment of stars and planets, and so it would be an “ill-starred” event. What’s interesting is that today we have expanded the use of that word, almost trivializing it as a result. We have to call things, “natural disasters,” to differentiate them from the disasters caused by human hands, or finances, or the party not going the right way, or the cake for the birthday failing to rise. Disasters, it seems, surround us on all sides! Aren’t we an emotional lot?
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.