Thursday, January 29, 2009
This little red structure, which I've always admired, is located in Dutton on Route 198. If I'm not mistaken (and there's a reasonably good chance I am), nearby is a field that sprouts daffodils each spring. Speaking of daffodils, below is a continuation of the speech my grandmother gave to a state-wide Woman’s Club convention held in Richmond in the 1970's.
Daffodils - Part II
By Chesapeake Bay Paternal Grandmother
Click here for Part I
“…The daffodil has meant Nature’s annual re-birth for many hundreds of years—over Southern Europe, when color once again erases the drabness of winter. Daffodils are all members of the amaryllis family and belong to the Northern Hemisphere. Most of them came from the mountains and valleys of Spain and Portugal, back in the days when Mother Nature directed the gardens of the earth. It was these wild things the poets of old described and the common people took to their hearts and scattered everywhere over the country-side, especially in the British Isles.
It was mostly wild daffodils our ancestors brought to this country in and after colonial days. In fact, the first fain* beginning of the modern daffodil dates back to about 1870, when certain Englishmen began inter crossing selected specimens of their wild Lent Lilies and first produced Emperor and Empress, followed a few years later by King Alfred,** the greatest daffodil of all time in terms of popularity and quantities raised and sold.
So it was: Mother Nature first presented us with the wild daffodils and men, mostly studious Englishmen, took over the processes of evolution in the latter part of the 19th century and produced the bulging list of varieties available today…..”
-CB Paternal Grandmother
Chesapeake Bay Woman’s Additional Mindless Commentary--Because She Just Can't Help Herself
*I confess, I am in my forties and have never seen nor heard of this word before, but that should not come as any surprise. Either that or the Brain Disease I succumbed to after my first child was born has wiped out any and all memory of that word (and many others). "Feign" yes. "Fain" no, it's not ringing a bell. At first I thought it was a typo, but because Chesapeake Bay Woman is known to be wrong *occasionally,* I decided to look it up. “Fain” means gladly or willingly, and is archaic, just like my computer and my dial-up internet. By the way, any day now, based on its impertinent behavior, this PC will be making its underwater debut into Queens Creek.
**I remember this particular type of flower. My grandfather grew jillions of them. Jillions is what comes after billions, in case you didn't know. (I learned this as a liberal arts major who survived four years of college with nary a math class taken.)
Each spring I spent many hours after school picking King Alfreds. Do you have King Alfred in a can? Better let him out. Sorry, this is the first thing I think of when I hear King Alfred, even if it wasn't King Alfred, but Prince Alfred. Or Prince Albert. Prince Henry? Patrick Henry?
Does anyone, anywhere have any idea what any of this has to do with daffodils?
Don't forget to submit your entries into The Contest so that we can actually read something up here that flows in a logical, sensible, coherent, cogent, organized and succinct fashion rather than my flitting from one unrelated topic to another such that one minute we're talking about King Alfred daffodils and the next we're mentioning Patrick Henry, who may or may not have been trapped in a can.
(I know, it's Prince Albert. I also know he has nothing to do with daffodils. And I also know that if I don't stop typing right now, I will never shut up. You're welcome.)