Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Fortunes of Poetry on the Water and the Trash Heap
If "it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife," does it not follow that a married man in possession of a wife must be in want of a good fortune? He sure would find it helpful once the responsibilities begin to multiply and the bank balance reveals more evidence of subtraction than addition. Poor men! Well, at least some of them will get extra points for longsuffering. I know mine will.
These young people are more rich than they realize at the moment. I got richer by being able to spend the day with them this past Saturday. Boating and beach time took place on the "sound" side of Pensacola Beach. The water is much calmer there and therefore kid-and-boating-friendly.
While Grandma Martha watched Micah play on the beach, I was the lookout while my daughter-in-law took a wild ride on the tube. For some reason, Alan would not trust any of us women to drive the boat so he could take a turn on the water. I was a little hurt by his decision because I have a lot of experience behind the wheel of a power-boat. He probably remembers the times years ago, living on a lake in Illinois, when I tried to throw his father off balance. It was always done in a spirit of light-hearted fun, honestly!
My daughter-in-law proves that a good woman holds on even when things can get a bit choppy.
On Sunday morning, Sarah and I tackled the thorny problem presented by some Knockout roses. I love these shrubs for their resilience and beauty, but they tend to overstep their boundaries in this Florida climate. The plentiful rain and warmth we have had this summer at home apparently provided ideal growing conditions. I had to be ruthless and trim them severely. I usually perform this task late in the fall or early winter, but I only have a couple of more weeks until I go back to Illinois. I was also concerned that if Hurricane Ike paid us a visit, the shrubs would damage themselves and the screen enclosure by whipping about in the wind.
I know, it looks pitiful now, a veritable piece of destruction, but just give it a few weeks. It will be blooming again and as full as it was by next May, ready for trimming again. Maybe the canna lilies hidden behind its former mass will thank me with an abundance of flowers before I have to leave.
I can understand why Sarah leaves the rose bushes alone, even though she does a great job of maintaining the rest of the yard. Their thorns are fierce enough to penetrate the thickest gloves I have, and she has to be protective of her hands. She makes her living with them as a massage therapist.
We added a lot of stuff to the trash heap, or compost pile, if you prefer. We were rewarded for our hard work by what we found growing there. It was pure poetry.
Though I have grown cypress vine and morning glories before in my Midwest gardens, I have never grown them here in Florida, having found them to be a bit unruly once established. Somehow they managed to find their way to our trash heap, those little blessings on my mess. We usually burn the pile down a bit if it gets too big, but I think I will leave this mess alone for a while, at least until I come home the next time. It is trying so hard to cover up the evidence of my destruction.
"I do not like to boast of my own child, but to be sure, Jane--one does not often see anybody better looking. It is what everybody says. I do not trust my own partiality. When she was only fifteen, there was a gentleman at my brother Gardiner's in town so much in love with her that my sister-in-law was sure he would make her an offer before we came away. But, however, he did not. Perhaps he thought her too young. However, he wrote some verses on her, and very pretty they were."
"And so ended his affection," said Elizabeth impatiently. "There has been many a one, I fancy, overcome in the same way. I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love!"
"I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love," said Darcy.
"Of a fine, stout, healthy love it may. Everything nourishes what is strong already. But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away."
Darcy only smiled; and the general pause which ensued made Elizabeth tremble lest her mother should be exposing herself again...
--All quoted material borrowed from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice--