Monday, March 16, 2009

Daffodils: Part V


These are the very same daffodils I photographed about a week ago. They're some early bloomers in my front yard. Once they've pushed through the ground, it doesn't take long for them to blossom. As pretty as these flowers are, when I look at this picture, all I can see is the green grass sprouting. That means that in a week or two--three at most--, it will be grass cutting season again. That means that Chesapeake Bay Woman can kiss whatever spare time she has goodbye. She will go to work at the paying job, race home and spend hours on the tractor so that her yard does not end up a destination for those wanting a jungle safari without the fuss of traveling to Africa.

Below is a continuation of my paternal grandmother's speech about daffodils to a convention in Richmond in the 1970's.

"...A word or two about arranging daffodils. Since you are members of a garden club, no doubt most of you joined because of an overwhelming desire to beautify your homes. The "bouquet" of yesterday has become the "arrangement" or today. It is an inspiring art that fascinates everyone to some extent--and from this interest often comes concern for flowers and how to better use and grow them.

Every arrangement should, it seems to me, come from within and seek to express some feeling, some need, some objective which springs from the heart rather than the mind. Arrangements should also seek to glorify the flowers and not the artist. They should be made to fit the flower and not some preconceived mechanical pattern. This means, with regard to daffodils, that the arrangement should be adapted to its nature."

------------------

My grandmother was talking about daffodils here, or was she?

I am able to draw parallels between her description of daffodil arrangements in that second paragraph and of us as human beings. We should not allow someone to arrange us in unnatural or unflattering ways. Our lives should fit us and not some "preconceived mechanical pattern," or someone else's notion of how we should be.

The philosophical portion of this post is now over.

Actually, the entire shebang is now over, thanks to I Hate Mondays, which is a chronic ailment I contracted as a teenager and never quite seemed to shake. It's a debilitating disease that renders one completely helpless from about 3:00 p.m. on Sundays through Tuesday night. The only known long-term cure for it is independent wealth, however it's been observed that those who are independently wealthy do not know how to appreciate the absence of this particular affliction. Sort of like "youth is wasted on the young."

The only other source of relief, temporary though it may be, is a rare gem called Saturday, but it's fleeting and cannot be relied upon to provide sustained overall improvement.

16 comments:

Grandma J said...

Your Grandmother said:

.....The "bouquet" of yesterday has become the "arrangement" or today.

Somehow, I think that has come full circle because I love a bouquet of flowers, and I no longer try to arrange them.

I keep two fresh bouquets of flowers in my apartment year round. I don't grow them here, but they are $5 a bunch at Walmart, and I pick them up twice a week and rotate them.

Have a great Monday.

Annie said...

Very funny! Although I am glad to hear those daffodils are flowering...very nice!

Yes, Mondays could be a bit depressing, although for me, who can stay at home, it is actually often a day, after having a lazy Sunday, when I spring to in the garden and get something done...well, not a lot, but things like raking the leaves...and putting them in the bin...!! Very exciting I know!! Today I went and bought a wonderful bunch of tulips and other flowers to give to my aunty in law who has just lost her sister. Trouble was she wasn't there when I popped in ...oh well, maybe after the approaching storm...haven't had a storm for a while, and it promises to be a goody!
I can hear the possum scratching in the ceiling/gutter where he lives...mmm...I wonder if that is a sign...a sign of what I wonder? Perhaps he needs some flea powder!

Better stop rambling on here and be prepared to turn this off soon!

KADouglas19 said...

I wish I had more time, I'd mow your grass for you. For some bizarre reason, I take pleasure in it.

mmm said...

Perhaps while your out there on that mower you can contemplate the "parallels between ... daffodil arrangements ... [and] human beings", and how "...our lives should fit us and not some 'preconceived mechanical pattern,'...".

Notions like that are at the heart of much of our great literature; Huxley and Orwell took on the topic directly, more or less. Kingsolver (literature?) and Dillard (Pulitzer) have danced around the daffodils only to end up similarly contemplating the human condition. Shakespeare, no doubt, has written volumes on this topic, though I have to realign my three higher cortical synaptic patterns to understand just what he's (or she, we may never know) trying to say.

Many an epiphany has occurred in a lawnmower seat. So while your out there mowing, circle carefully around the daffodils, the cats and the geese as you unlock the riddles of the human condition.

I'll send you some of my coffee beans and you "will" think about it - for hours.

Time for work - this should be a productive day...

Mental P Mama said...

I freaking love your grandmother. And I suffer from that Sunday malaise, too. I treat it with chardonnay.

IslandGirl said...

I was noticing as I travel to Mathews yesterday that the daffodils were blomming.Grandma was a wise woman I can see. Cutting grass... what tractor will you be using? You should ask Islandgirl's nephew to cut grass for you. He may enjoy doing that. UGGGGG Mondays... i was thinking the same thing this morning as I tried to talk myself out of the bed to endure another Monday at school working in the office that at times drives me competely bonkers... lets see blood drive today, sophomore assembly and on and on and on... today I would be a daffodil looking a little brown around the edges... mondays..but as for you CBW have a great one.

Anonymous said...

BLASPHEMY....don't even talk about grass cutting. I personally have decided to take one of the signs from the middle of the road...you know the ones "don't mow - wildflowers". I figure maybe the neighbors won't catch on for a few months that there are no flowers growing. But hey, by then it should be high enough that I can make money by offering safari tours. With the money I earn from the tours, maybe I can purchase a riding lawn mower for next year. Or better yet, hire a year round yard boy. Hope your Monday is a good one! By the way, the CBW I remember has always been a unique arrangement on her own :-) Msseabreeze

Not Moved Mom said...

I am with KADouglas-I enjoy cutting grass. I taught my children at an early age that unless you are bleedin' or smokin' don't interrupt my grass cutting. That is my time....I think, sing, pray, work out the world's or should I say the household's problems.

MMM is right on target. If my lawnmower seat could talk....oh my, that could be a scary thought.

CBW when you get some of MMM's coffee beans you will be able to cut the whole neighborhood's lawn. That's another scary thought...wonder what is in those beans????? Perhaps, you can share with your friend. I need to get a lot done, maybe that is the missing factor unless it has the ADD ingredient that we witnessed on Saturday. SCARY????

Not Moved Mom said...

Second thought-It is a good thing the NMM likes cutting grass because NMM husband cut sooooo much grass growing up that when we got married he was talking concrete painted green.

MMM-As you know my husband is not interested in grass cutting, it takes too much time away from running and working out. The only saving grace for me concerning that concrete was he considered putting in that pole vaulting pit so you and CBW could come visit. (All he needed was an old mattress and pole.)Now that could have been some photos for the blog!

CBW-Now you thought BB was bad. Let's dig up some old pole vaulting and high jump stories.

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Fortunately, we get a life-affirming Saturday once every seventh day. Without them, I'd be mush.

My daffodils aren't blooming yet but our lot is shady. Soon, though. Very soon.

big hair envy said...

I believe that your chronic ailment means that you are seeking to glorify yourself, NOT the flowers. Heehee!!

Those daffodils are GORGEOUS!!! Will there be another "Home & Garden" edition when you begin making Easter arrangements to decorate your home??? :)

Karen Deborah said...

I am sorry, I have the day off today. And I am PRAISING GOD! Getting up early on Monday gives me the blues too. BUT just the thought of you hauling butt all over the place on your tractor and hitting stumps and fiddler crab infestations gives me the giggles already. Can't wait to see what this year holds!

Your grandma is just stinkin cool. I make bouquets, very casual at that.

foolery said...

What? I can put flowers . . . in my house? What? I can grow them in my dirt?

What? You mean flowers don't come from the florist?

I need to lie down.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Mathews Father was not allowed to cut grass.....something about shooting rocks from the driveway through the storm windows with the lawnmower blades. It was very much like shoot out scenes in the movies.

Anonymous Mathews Mother almost had a stroke when I sent him out to cut grass to keep him busy the day before my wedding. I believe her response was, "What are you trying to do to me?!?!?!" I felt bad. It seemed like a harmless occupation for him at the time.

Anonymous Mathews Husband collapses in an allergic heap every time he cuts the grass.

Personally, I'm looking forward to logging some hours on the Anonymous Mathews Mother's zero turn mower. I wonder if I can herd small children...oops I meant cows with it?

We still have our older-than-me, fully operational cub cadet as well. Which is good, because it's almost time to teach Anonymous Mathews Daughter how to drive.

:)

Happy Monday!

AMN

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

GJ - I hope you put at least one of those two bouquets next to your Alf lamp, because he needs to have some cheer too. Fresh flowers are the best.

Annie - Sounds like you have an infestation; a possum infestation, although I thought they were more underground sorts. I, too, have something scratching around in my attic, but I am in full denial that it's anything other than my imagination, even though CB Daughter and Son remind me regularly that something is alive up there. I'll worry about that tomorrow.

KAD - Actually, truth be told, I would prefer to cut grass than do any--and I do mean any--other sort of housework. If that were my only responsibility I'd be looking forward to it. It's just that with everything else I juggle it's no longer enjoyable when it eats up so much precious time, or rather it is enjoyable and I choose that over other drudgery I must do such as roll out the tumbleweeds of cat hair. (How much do you charge?)

MMM - Are those coffee beans legal in this country? If they are, I'll take a 50-lb bag. Will pay extra for postage and handling. (I always had the notion that Shakespeare was a woman, too, although it's been so long since I read it I am not sure I can speak intelligently about it. Actually I am sure. No way can I speak intelligently about it, on this and a few other topics, where "a few" is synonymous with "most.")

MPM - That is definitely one remedy, the other being the same medicine with the reddish hue.

Islandgirl - The equipment of choice used to be Cub Cadet but I inherited a John Deere. Don't worry - your nephew is on my short list of people to call to do some yard work for me this spring. He's already been here once to help me with something else and did a wonderful job. He's a sweetie.

MsSeabreeze - You're brilliant (and very unique yourself). You may be on to something really good here. The one thing I can't do is steal (did I say steal? I didn't mean that) the sign without fear of losing my job. BUT! there's nothing saying somebody else couldn't borrow the sign and stick it in my yard. That's very crafty and ingenious. Good job.

NMN - You may have the line of the day..."unless you're bleedin' or smokin' don't interrupt my grass cuttin'." Actually that would also make a good title to a country song. It's true, though. I go into The Zone on that tractor and do not wish to be interrupted unless it is by the sound of a tree stump being ground mercilessly under the blades that were not meant to be stump grinders which explains the high maintenance bill I can expect from Chimney Corner....On the topic of pole vaulting, let me just say this about that. Mr. No Move Mom was a very good pole vaulter, and I remember one certain Randy G. also doing it. AT that time girls didn't pole vault but that didn't stop me from trying it out. We won't discuss the success rate of me clearing that bar, but it was fun nonetheless.

Meg - Doesn't once every seven days seem too infrequent? What do we have to do to lobby for two Saturdays and a Sunday? Monday really isn't needed. We could just substitute another Saturday there for Monday and the world would be a better place, I'm convinced of it.

BHE - Good one, and yes, I do believe there will be another HOme and Garden edition once the flowers really start blooming. My grandmother would be very disappointed, however, because I'm more of a bouquet person (pick a bunch, stuff them in a vase, add water and forget about it for a month, when they turn crispy brown and the water stinks.)

KD -Something tells me you're underestimating your flower arranging skills. If you can arrange flowers half as well as you cook, I'm going to start calling you Martha.

Foolery - It's true. Let me bring you a cold compress.

AMN - I knew I liked your father. He sounds like my kind of grass cutter. Take no prisoners, just move forward full blast and grind up/spit out/fling/damage/kill whatever is in your way.

YOU HAD TO MENTION ZERO-TURN MOWER. In spite of my outward rejection of those things because they just look like the lawn mower version of a geeky mini-van, I must say they seem VERY fast and VERY efficient, and when you visit for Blog Fest I will be quizzing you on every detail about that thing. I'm afraid if I had one I'd end up ricocheting off the front when I ran over something good. (In this case I am using the word "good" interchangeably with something "big" or something "not meant to be run over by a lawn mower.")

Monday's almost over. Looking forward to Tuesday night, when my malady wanes.

KADouglas19 said...

Hey CBW,

It depends on how big your yard is and whatnot. My guess is you have a huge yard since you live down near Edwards creek. I'm not sure where I'm going to be in the summer but if I am staying on the island, I'll get in touch!

Our yard is not too big but on Chesapeake Drive the ditches are long and deep - that is the only part of the job I hate! Other than that, I love it - riding around the yard, getting a suntan, listening to tunes, and having a few beers on a beautiful summer day. What could be better?