Below is an essay on daffodils I wrote for the Readers Write section of Pleasant Living magazine (March issue). Given that you can find this FREE periodical in your local Country Grocery Store, I don't expect I can quit my day job any time soon.
Thank goodness my grandfather planted daffodils. A retired Army officer, “The General” was looking for a way to spend all his free time and decided to venture into daffodils. While most people might plant a row or two to see how they did, he planted fields of bulbs, enough to establish a legitimate business, Royal Colony Farms.
At a young age, my sisters and our neighborhood friends learned the fine art of daffodil picking, which was not without workplace hazards. As we carefully slid our hands down to the base of each stem to gently snap the flower, we occasionally would hit a stub, a thorn, or some other prickly plant. The open wounds would mingle with the flower sap and cause flower poisoning.
There was also plenty of stooping, bending, and lifting involved as we picked, bunched, gathered, and loaded the flowers onto the tractor which hauled them to the barn. There each basket was lowered to a water bucket in preparation for packing and shipping. We helped make the boxes for shipping and learned the proper way to pack flower bunches. In short, we learned every aspect of that business, cradle to grave.
I doubt my grandfather ever saw a penny’s profit from his enterprise, but the lessons we children learned were invaluable: the value of hard work, the importance of every person’s role in the overall venture, and the pride in growing and sharing with others the most beautiful and varied flowers of spring.
My grandfather is no longer here, and alas the business died too. Yet every spring those fields continue to explode with sunshine on a stem, the dancing yellow and white flowers that give such joy, such beauty and so many wonderful memories without asking for anything in return.