Excerpt: Chapter 8 – A Love Affair with Flowers

An explosion of passionate pink peonies wore the lipstick of God in my mother’s gardens near the front of our red brick country home, an island of color in a green sea of towering corn. A moat of marigolds, the color of rich egg yolk, encircled sentinel rocks flanking our driveway. Blasts of forsythia, yellow as the sun, rocketed from the ground beneath my bedroom window. Jasmine, delicate and fragrant as the breath of angels, wound itself around the lamppost while red and purple fuchsia cascaded from hanging baskets beneath our patio’s eaves. Ivory clematis climbed toward their trellised sky with outstretched petals like arms, welcoming all to Mom’s world….

In her new home, she painted beautiful pictures with a trowel in one hand and life in the other, as she describes here in her own words:

It begins with a tug-of-war between winter and spring. The crocus pop open and tender tulip shoots peak out beneath shrinking drifts of snow. One morning, I awake to a dazzling fairyland. The trees, bushes—everything!—are embroidered with delicate tracery of hoar frost. Merest whisper of breeze loosens the frost and it falls like petals. The warming sun breaks through the mist and soon steals away the rest of the white lace.

Soon, the tulips are out in a patchwork of color, nodding and bowing to all who pass by, like ladies of long ago dressed for a ball. I work in the gardens when days are pleasant and spring laps at my feet. I spot a purple martin scouting a nest site, and listen to the sad, sad calls of the mourning dove. I am entranced as the warm sun touches my skin. The bees buzz through the early flowers…

Suddenly, winter is gone! The roses are in bloom. Goldfinches sail overhead, bobbing like ships at sea, serenading with sweet song. The hummingbirds zip like miniature helicopters, startling me as I come into the garden. A delicate butterfly lights on me and I stop to admire his buff-gold “feathers” and the many black “eyes” on the borders of his wings. I wait patiently and speak softly. Perhaps he was attracted to my lavender slacks. Perhaps he thought I was a flower!

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