Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday Memories, Roses are red...violets are blue?

Digital photo owned by P. Taylor
Flower grown by P. Taylor too!
January, 2009

I certainly appreciate the blogging prompt, although I am sorry to say that I cannot recall who to give the credit to. So, here is my Monday memory.

My grandmother Lucy, had a real green thumb. She could make anything grow. Her yard proved that. The flower beds in the front yard was filled with roses. The driveway was lined with tulips, daffodils, and more roses. The back garden had all types of summer flowers; zinnias, carnations, gladiolus, bachelor buttons, and so many more. Spring and summer celebrations always included a freshly picked bouquet from my grandmother. Thanks to my grandmother, I too love all kinds of flowers.

My favorite flower grew inside her house. Lucy grew African violets. All shades of African violets, pink violets and purple violets, even violets that were almost blue. They were beautiful. She would keep them in her kitchen window and in her basement windows. She had NO problem taking a broken stem and putting it in a small clay pot filled with a little black dirt and in a couple of weeks that stem was growing into a really nice plant. I was not alone, everyone loved her African violet plants. She was always giving people "starter" plants with simple directions; give it some sun and don't water it a lot!

I can't tell you how many of those "starter" plants she gave me. Tons! I followed her directions. Give it some sunshine and a little water. It didn't matter. I always killed my little "starter violet." You can imagine the guilt I had too. It was embarrassing for me to keep asking for another plant and then within a couple of weeks it too was dead.
This went on for years. To cheer myself up, I would buy a really nice mature African violet plant from a store. I had one condition-it had to be blooming! I would beam with happiness and pride. I had an African violet that looked beautiful, for a little while at least. Then the inevitable would happen, the blossoms would shrivel up and die, then one leaf would fall off, followed by more. The plant became a little dried up mess or turned yellow when I watered it too much. Why was growing an African violet so hard? I gave up. Who needed a pretty flower anyway?
Last year my beloved grandmother must have looked down from heaven and thought I had suffered long enough. Not expecting much, I bought an African violet plant from Wal-Mart and put it in the south window of my home. I watered it a little and gave it some African violet FOOD. Plants need food too. I looked at it everyday. It didn't die. In fact, it started looking bigger and better. So, what did I do? I went out and bought two more! I watered them and gave them some African violet food too. This past November a little miracle happened. MY three African violet plants bloomed! Yep, you read right...and the best part of all...they are still blooming!
I know I didn't do this all by myself...Lucy is watching over and guiding me. She picked the right time in my life to make sure that when I got up in the morning I would see something beautiful. So, thank you dear grandmother for passing down to me an appreciation for beautiful flowers. And thank you to my Mom (who never really had much of a green thumb but loved flowers!) for teaching me to never give up when I failed at a task.
So, thanks for the memory and the lessons! My three little African violet plants sure are a pretty sight!


Apple said...

I'm glad you've received some intervention from Lucy. I can testify that they are not easy to grow, I've never had one last more than a few months.

I happy to see more people recording their memories ;-)

Sarah Wegley said...

Hi Pam,
I think you gave me an African violet once! It was blooming at the time but I couldn't keep it going either. How nice to think of your grandmother giving you a helping hand with your flowers.
All the best,

The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown


SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.


TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!