Friday, January 23, 2009
I took this from the public landing on Gwynn's Island on a day it was so cold you had to squeeze your eyelids shut to keep precious heat from escaping from your eyeballs. I was trying to zero in on this hidden skiff and zero out on those houses in the background, but it didn't work. (See previous statement about way too cold.) Plus the dock was slippery with a thin coat of ice, and with my luck I'd have ended up hind parts over tea kettle in the creek.
Speaking of things hiding in the grass (and we were, right?), here's a little something about daffodils.
Believe it or not, as cold as it is, and despite the fact it’s only January, there are daffodils starting to sprout in my front yard.
As I have mentioned before, my grandfather used to sell daffodils commercially, and we still have tons and tons of bulbs that produce flowers each spring.
My grandmother was heavily involved in the local Woman’s Club. Recently I found a copy of a 4-page speech she gave at a convention in Richmond, probably in the 1970’s. I will be sharing excerpts from this speech sporadically rather than dump the whole 4-pages out here at once. (You're welcome.)
Below is an excerpt:
“ ..I have a few comments, by way of introduction, that follow no particular continuity,*but which I felt may be of interest to you.
The daffodil story goes back many centuries, back to the tazetta-filled urns that decorated the temples of ancient Greece. (Tazetta, by the way, is a species, or one of the divisions, of the daffodil family. The name comes from an Italian word meaning “little cup,” and there are usually four to eight small cupped up tilted flowers per stem, grouped in a head, like the geranium.**) Well, so much for the tazetta-filled urns of ancient Greece.
Literature contains many passages from Chaucer***to our modern writers, all extolling these cherished messengers of early spring. The daffodil has meant Nature's annual rebirth for many hundreds of years over Southern Europe, when color once again erases the drabness of winter."
--Chesapeake Bay Woman's Paternal Grandmother
Chesapeake Bay Woman’s Non-Value-Added Commentary
* I see now where I get my rambling, unfocused, run-on-sentence-filled writing style now.
**Holy cow. She even has parenthetical expressions (or whatever you call these words that are strung between parentheses, which represent superfluous, nonsensical thoughts I usually have that only create sentences that stretch from Virginia to Idaho..) that are as long and rambling as mine…this is starting to scare me.
***I can’t think of Chaucer without thinking of a certain high school English teacher whose nickname was Wahoo. I’ve always wondered how that name came about. I'm almost afraid to ask...Also, it reminds me of the time I wrote an essay analyzing various characters in the Canterbury Tales. Except that essay wasn't for me. It was for one of my readers out there who was struggling with the whole Canterbury Tales thing.....
Attention: If Mrs. Wahoo is reading, please disregard that last statement. I was hallucinating when I wrote it. I think my brain is still thawing out from trying to take a picture while slipping and sliding on ice while walking down a dock at the public landing on the coldest day of the year.