Monday, June 09, 2008

For Everything Else There's Love

by David G. Woolley

Farmers have four seasons. Hallmark and Home Depot Nursery have invented at least twelve more. The venerable card company reported that the Mother's Day season was rather cool and wet which means sales of their most expensive floral arrangement e-cards were down compared to last year. Home Depot had no comment on the tulip season that came and went quickly. They only talk bulbs around Halloween. Hallmark is still trying to add All Hallow's Eve to the farmer's almanac, but the editor insists you can't have a one-day-long season. Hallmark hasn't given up. They're working on a trick or treat card that gives you the option of dispensing penny candy or lifting the family mini van onto your roof. Hallmark stock rose two dollars on the news. The farmer's almanac is predicting colder than average temperatures for Halloween this year with an accumulation of high altitude mini vans.

Most of us wouldn't be nearly as good at gardening if not for the Home Depot nursery reminding us its time to pull out the wilting pansies and put in the impatients. Or the K-mart nursery. Or the Smith's Grocery Nursery. Or the Jiffy Lube nursery. I planted 528 inpatients this weekend. All of them from Starkey's Nursery. It's a back water, mom and pop operation the 1-800-flower marketing revolution forgot. They also missed the memo on price increases. Dad would have been proud. For him timing was everything, which has little to do with ideal planting weather conditions and everything to do with sale prices.

After cancer took my father over one year ago, my siblings and I built a little flower garden for mother. We ripped out the ugly railroad ties and installed a stone wall with an elevated garden and landscape lighting. We carted in heroic-sized potted trees and flowers. And we lined the fences and brick walls with trellis climbing roses. There's a little stone near the entrance with the phrase "Dad's Garden" etched into the top. Its a relaxing place. The birds love it. Dad probably wouldn't. The ugly railroad ties were just fine. Hallmark and Home Depot were not permitted to dictate his purchases.

Two days before Dad passed away, he was sitting in the front room with family gathered around. Cancer is an unpredictable enemy. You never know when its going to win. Things weren't going well, but we didn't know he only had a couple of days. Speaking was difficult. The cancer was lodged in his throat. He paused and looked up at the ceiling. My sister thought he was seeing the other side. If he was, heaven must be a frugal place. He raised his hand, pointed to the recessed lighting and said,

"Mother, there are ten lights on."

The garden makes mom happy. Its a peaceful addition to the life of a woman with a peaceful soul. Once all 528 impatients were planted I told her that, despite Dad's frugal ways, he likely approved. If she was happy then dad was too. She agreed.

Planting your summer flower garden anytime soon? Home Depot sells inpatients for fourteen dollars a flat. For everything else there's love.

Join author David G. Woolley at his Promised Land Website. He is also a weekly contributor to the Latter Day Authors blog and he writes commentary and opinion at the Utah Ranger's Far Post blog


David G. Woolley said...

Sandra and Anonymous:

Please note the time on this post. 7:00 am this morning.

I used the little blue time travel link. Amazing. You should try it sometime. Buckle up.

David G. Woolley

Anonymous said...

When I first saw the time I thought,"Not so!" Now I know you've only become wiser.

David G. Woolley said...

Techno-wiser for sure. Thanks to Sandra.

David G. Woolley

Cory said...

Dave, it's Cory Williamson here...I tried to email you from your Promised Land website, but the email bounced.
How are you?

David G. Woolley said...


How the heck are you doing? How did you find me. I hide really well.

How is everything going? How is your wife? Does she still make you do the mashed potatoes? Is she still teaching water aerobics at Gold's Gym? How is the rest of your beautiful family? How is your arm? Any more middle of the night visits to the hospital for a basketball size elbow? You're home teachers are very lucky people, you know!

Are you doing the forrest fire fighting anymore or have you decided to use your MBA for less risky ventures like, say, teaching English in Idaho?

Wow. This is so cool. Write a blog. Met an old friend. So, where are living these days? Provo still?

Okay, here is my email address:

I'm going to the promised land site right now to figure out why the email option isn't working.

Great to hear from you.

I am doing just fine. Lost of soccer. Way too much of that in fact. I have become a gardner (as this post sort of lets on) this week and a lot of weeks. Someone has to do the gardening. Remember when you guys fixed up the yard of the rental home in Provo and your daughter found all those bugs? She loved them. Your wife just laughed. You tried to keep her from eating them. Yuck. Does she still like bugs?

Write me...


Kerry Blair said...

"Lost of soccer" Oh, DGW, I couldn't have said it better myself...

Rebecca Talley said...

Beautiful post.

David G. Woolley said...


You baseball junkie! Leave the true sport alone. What’s really funny is that at 7:00 am (6:00 am your time) I programmed a blog to post dedicated to baseball and Kerry Lynn Blair. What were doing up at 5:39 Utah time? You were 21 minutes too early to read the baseball post. I think I’m going to remove it from my blog and put up a bronzed soccer ball in effigy of your comment. But then it was really my comment, wasn't it?


David G. Woolley said...


I meant 5:39 CVT (Chino Valley Time). The place definitely has its own time zone. They made a movie there once. Lost in Time. Have you seen it?

Kerry: Have I seen, brother? I live it?

Dave: So you don't like Chino Valley?

Kerry: We have post office.

Dave: Its pretty hot there this time of year. Do you draw inspiration from your surroundings?

Kerry: I'm working on a new novel. The working title is Dead in Ten Seconds.

Dave: You've still got your hair.

Kerry: The wig shop is next door to the post office.

Dave: I thought that was a little too blonde for you.

Kerry: I hate interviews

Dave: I hate baseball

Kerry: We score more runs.

Dave: What kind of a sport calls their scoring a RUN?

Kerry: Goooooooooooooal!

Cami said...

You know what they say: "It all started in a garden..." My dad died of cancer also. A long, long time ago. My mom and I were just discussing what flowers we will buy this weekend. It will not, however, be 500 plus of anything. :) My siblings are all much older than I am and they choose to have everything done by hire... :) This we will do ourselves. This post made me smile, and look forward to days among flowers. Well Dave, be of good cheer... just a couple of weeks to deadline time. :)