Sunday, March 9, 2008

Daffodils

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.

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Plantings
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.

2 comments:

Kaffy said...

Your essay is daffodilicious. Without a doubt, you could write articles for magazines. I believe that is one of your many callings. I took this online class last year on magazine writing. The teacher was great and inspiring. There are tons of opportunities for selling your stories to mags, for money no less. My problem is simply coming up with good ideas and putting pen to paper so-to-speak. I'm a big chicken. Anyway, YOU don't realize how gifted you are, so why am I even suggesting that you take this class? You will file this info away in the "never-to-do" pile. But here's the website anyway: ed2go.com/national (look for mag writing class w/Eva Shaw.) Only 80 bucks or so, what do you have to lose? No grades, and you can be as involved or not involved as you like. That's my lecture for the day. Love Kaf

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Kaffy, given that your resume includes the job title of EDITOR OF A MAJOR PUBLICATION I truly appreciate your words of Whizdom.

You, my dear, are extremely talented. If I can ever get my disorganized self together, I am going to create that Other Blog where you will be co-author.

But first I have Mt. Clothesmore to tackle. I hate Sunday nights.