We are inching into my favorite month of the year, May. Hooray for May.
It’s the month of May baskets, violets, Maypoles (okay, I’ve never actually seen a Maypole, but I love them anyway), and, most of all, promise. When I was little, May meant all those things plus the last day of school, which was blissful. It wasn’t that I didn’t like school – I did, as much as any kid does, but there was such a sense of being free, free, free!
I can still remember at the end of that last school day, skipping happily the half-block from school to Nana’s house (where I live now), past the heavenly smell of her honeysuckle bush and her pink and white peony blossoms. On the horizon were the “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer,” as a poet or songwriter or somebody once wrote. Okay, so I’m a little weak on specific references, but who cares – it’s almost May!
I’d stop off at Nana’s for a couple of her just-out-of-the-cooking-oil doughnuts (she was sort of famous for them). Then next door to my house where our collie, Tam O’Shanter, would always greet me by jumping up on me, often knocking me over. I never minded, although some of my little friends were less than enchanted with Tam’s exuberance.
I wrote a while ago about Tommy Zender slapping Tam on the nose after being pushed to the ground. I told Tommy indignantly that you must never slap a collie, it said so in a book my mother had on how to train a collie. “Well, why doesn’t she read it?” he asked innocently as he dusted himself off.
In anticipation of May, the flowers in my window box across the front of the house have burst into bloom. I used to follow all the good gardeners’ instructions to wait until Mother’s Day to plant flowers, then would carefully set out wavy petunias in the window box.
Somewhere along the line, the petunias stopped waving. They just sat there looking stupid. After a couple of years trying to cajole them into some semblance of beauty, I gave up. Now I have glorious, multi-colored blossoms marching across the window box. They take no watering, no weeding, no care at all. They’re my kind of flowers.
In my defense, in case you’re thinking I’ve become lazy, I have, over the last several years, planted approximately 1,474 hostas in our yard where grass refuses to grow. Planting hostas is not for sissies – it requires wielding a big spade and lugging heavy pails of water around the yard while charmingly attired in baggy pants, galoshes, floppy hat, and raggedy jacket.
There’s no way to look alluring whilst dealing with hostas. No way at all. I just soldier on, hoping no one I know will drive by, or if they do, they’ll think I’m a homeless person hired to be a temporary gardener. “Isn’t it nice that Molly gives work to someone so obviously needy,” they’ll say?
You must excuse me now while I polish my halo.
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