Who’s Ready to Dig in the Dirt?

Spring seems to be taking its sweet time about arriving in Central Illinois, but that hasn’t stopped die-hard gardeners from dreaming.

Do-it-yourself stores like Home Depot, big box stores like Walmart, and even some grocery stores are doing their best to capitalize on that fact.

Witness some of these beauties I saw this morning while browsing at Wally World:

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Thinking about Mother’s Day

My Favorite Domer called me yesterday to wish me a happy Mother’s Day.

“No card. No flowers,” he said. “I just wanted to call and tell you ‘I love you.'”

I had to laugh — it’s easier than crying!

Despite my persistent efforts, Domer has never been a card and flowers kind of guy. Perhaps it’s because he grew up away from his dad, who always did the card and flowers thing when it came to special occasions (thank you, Ex!). Perhaps it’s because Domer never saw his Pa-Pa buy cards and flowers for his grandma.

But I’m convinced it’s because of a new teacher he had when he was an impressionable high school freshman.

One day toward Valentine’s Day, some of the girls in Domer’s class were asking Mr. Young-Attractive-Hot-Shot what kind of flowers he’d purchased for his sweetie. Whereupon, Mr. Young-Attractive-Hot-Shot said he wasn’t giving them, then expounded on his philosophy that flowers were a waste of money. That as soon as you cut flowers, they start to die. That he wouldn’t want anybody special to have to receive dead flowers.

Huh??

I sincerely hope Mr. Young-Attractive-Hot-Shot had an understanding lady friend. Or has since changed his evil ways!

When Domer was little, as soon as he could print his name, I bought cards and had him give them to special people on special occasions. I never failed to give him cards on special occasions, either.

Yes, Hallmark loves me — I must be their biggest fan!

But somehow, Domer never got into cards. He told me yesterday that he can’t imagine being an old person and remembering the verse on a card somebody gave him years ago.

I countered that I might not remember the verse when I’m old, but I’ve saved ALL of my cards in boxes so I can wade through them at leisure. “That way, I can remember that once I was a young mom and I was loved,” I added.

“You’re loved now,” was all he said.

And it’s all that needed to be said.

How did you celebrate Mother’s Day 2012?

Happy Valentine’s Day?

Call me jaded, but I dislike Valentine’s Day.

Really dislike it.

It started, I think, in grade school, when we were instructed (no, coerced) to provide a Valentine for every member of our class.

Funny how the card manufacturers know just how many kids are in typical classrooms!

Anyway, a few days before the “event,” we’d create these elaborate construction paper envelopes in Art class to hold the Valentines we’d be receiving. Covered with doilies, hearts, and flowers, the envelopes would be things we could treasure.

Right.

Little kids of opposite sex rarely like each other (unless you consider those oh-so-private crushes that nobody knew about!). Still, we’d think long and hard about which Valentine card to give to which classmate, hoping the one with the “mushy” verse didn’t go to the kid nobody liked!

Or the teasing would start.

I don’t know what our teachers would have done, had somebody “miscounted” and omitted a classmate. It might have happened, but I didn’t know of it.

When the day was done, we’d carry our treasures home and go through each one, wondering who meant what by the card that was chosen.

Looking back, it was probably nothing more than, “Help me get through this awful chore as fast as possible!”

Fast-forward to my twenties when my dislike of Valentine’s Day was reinforced — big time. One of my grandfathers had to go to the hospital on Feb. 14 for a “routine” medical test on his heart; he never made it out alive.

I know he’s in a better place, but his death cast a pall on the holiday, one that’s hard to put aside.

Today, Valentine’s Day seems like such forced frivolity. An excuse to spend a lot of money buying candy or jewelry or flowers or whatever for your sweetie.

A Hallmark kind of day.

That’s all fine, but if you love someone, should you be telling him/her that every day?

I think I’ll grab a bite of chocolate and ponder that a while!