Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday's Simple Pleasures

My morning routine is walking Annie at a forest preserve.  It wasn't until she
became blind that I was able to do this.  Prior to losing her sight, she would
incessantly bark at other dogs passing by ... soooo embarrassing! She would constantly be pulling to get into the brush, being driven by some scent that wafted in her direction.  So I gave up. Now?  Once she gets going, these walks lift her spirits and it's a pleasure to be her exercise partner! 

As we walk down the trail, I witness the beginnings of fall.

The foliage is alive with plants that bloom at this time of year.  And as my eyes dart from side to side, I see one particular plant that reminds me of the story my mother told me long ago.

Mother was a recent newlywed, married to the boy she met in college.  
Once he was released from active duty, after WWII, they settled down in
their first home... a small New England Cape Cod.  My dad would head off
to the new business he had started and mother would be left at home to
make her own life.  She had met a few neighbors and decided the best 
way to develop deeper friendships was to invite them over to her home for 
lunch.  This particular day she invited her neighbor, Bunny.

In the morning, mother busied herself in the kitchen preparing their noonday meal.

As was the time back then, I'm sure she made either a tomato aspic or some sort of jello mold to go along with the rest of the meal.

She set the dining room table with her wedding china .... dinner plate, salad
plate... cut glass water goblet, and of course, a coffee cup and saucer.

Her sterling silver and linen napkins were the finishing touches to an elegant
setting, fitting for special company!  One thing was missing, though.  She 
needed a centerpiece!  As money was tight, she couldn't afford to rush out
to the florist to have them create something.  There had to be another 
solution.  Pondering her dilemma, she gazed out the kitchen window and there
it was!  Quickly, she gathered a bouquet of bright colored flowers, arranged them in a vase, and set them on the table.  She beamed with pride!

The doorbell rings, and it's Bunny!  They quickly get to chatting back
and forth, tickled at getting to know one another.  However, it soon becomes
apparent that Bunny is not feeling well.  She starts to sneeze.  Her eyes 
start to water.  She apologizes as this seemed to have come on suddenly.
And for no apparent reason.  It wasn't until mother walks her into the dining
room that it all becomes crystal clear as to what has created Bunny's symptoms.

"That's the problem!", exclaims Bunny.  "I'm allergic to Golden Rod!"
Mother looked from the bouquet.. to Bunny.. and back to the bouquet. 
She was left speechless.  She had no idea that the pretty,yellow flowers were
Golden Rod, nor that it could cause allergic reactions for some people. (I now
see that my being a Garden Club dropout should not surprise me!).
Just as mother starts to apologize for her faux pas, she looks to see that 
Bunny's tearing was now coming from fits of laughter!  No need to be 
embarrassed.. for her, it was just down right funny!  The bouquet was 
tossed out and Bunny and mother ended up spending the afternoon enjoying,
not only a fabulous lunch, but, more importantly, each other's company!  

Decades may change, but the way women make friendships hasn't.  I'm
reminded of that each fall when the Golden Rod blooms.  And mother's 
story is one that makes me smile each and every time! 


  1. this was a wonderful story - I loved it. Is that bittersweet in your photos? it reminds me of that plant and i "oh-so" wish i could get my hands on that here!
    xo Rae

    1. No,Rae... it's not. If it was I would be all over it, even if the Forest Preserve people were threatening to put handcuffs on me and haul me away! LOL It's so sad that bittersweet is so expensive and fragile. I love decorating with it, too!

  2. What a sweet story. It really made me smile. I love Goldenrod. I would put it in a bouquet too!

    1. Jenny... that bouquet is sitting on the end table in the family room. Such a pretty flower (weed) and it really has such a sweet fragrance! The best part is that it's free!! ha, ha!

  3. Hello Kadee,

    I love the way you tell stories in your posts. Wonderful memories such as these bring such joy, certainly for me because they remind me of special moments in my own live. And the photos are spectacular.

    :) Hope

    1. You make my heart sing, Hope!! My mother has no idea that her stories are ones I carry with me. Maybe someday soon I will let her in on that secret!

  4. I meant to tell you that I too am a garden club drop out. My sister & I begged to become members of a prestigious club in town that our grandmother was a founding member of. The 'ladies' didn't want to let us 'youngsters' in because we might not pull our rank or do enough work....what ever that meant. We just wanted to learn. Well let's see we were in our mid 30's & the next youngest member was our mother & she was in her 50's so this ought to tell you something. When we got up to leave after sitting for over 3 hours going through the minutes from previous meetings (from the 1930's to present) to get our children off the bus & someone made a comment about see there they go...they can't even finish a meeting, I knew we were in for trouble. It wasn't long before we were drop outs too...LOL! We decided we could learn elsewhere!! My grandfather was dreadfully alergic to golden rod! So I knew about that one!! Wonderful story....and I am so glad I don't have to eat or make tomato aspic!

  5. Such a sweet story!!! We girls will do anything to create a party... Hope their friendship was long & sweet. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It was a long friendship, Charlene... at least as I remember. And I just love that my mother had a friend with the name "Bunny". Sounds so Connecticut, doesn't it??!

  6. I love reading your are such a wonderful writer and your stories are always such a treat. I can so relate with a time in life that I wanted to be in the garden club. Funny how we look back when were young and many of the things we wanted to do simply because we really didn't know what we wanted to do! Hugs! Teresa

  7. What I found in our local garden club is that the women were so very sweet and inviting. But even though they said they welcomed "new blood, new ideas", I got shutout every time I offered a suggestion. Oh, well. I really don't know a weed from a flower anyway!

  8. Oh, Kadee --- it looks like you had such a great time at Junk Bonanza! How fun! Love that blanket chest!! I have one at the foot of my bed that has it's original dark pine green worn paint on it that I brought home from a trip to Maine many years ago.

    I totally understand what you told me about having that "aha" moment when you just KNOW that you're supposed to be doing something healthy and feel the need to get back on track. Mine came after my first colonoscopy this year, my yearly mammogram, a RECHECK mammogram, bone density test, and RECHECK on bone density. I felt like my mother, who has always had various health issues. Even though all of my tests came back ok, I knew it was time to PREVENT anything from happening to me in any way I could. Since the weather has been perfect this month, I chose running. Much better than being relegated to my basement (like I will be all winter).

    And yep....I never see an overweight person running....well....except ME! lol! But all runners are skinny-minnies! Like WE'LL be by next year!!!! Right???? lol!

    xoxo laurie

    1. I am so very glad that everything turned out ok! I am amazed that my mother, who is 91, has never had health issues. Cataracts is the only thing along with being hard of hearing. How I hope that those are the only medical issues I will have to face! But if I don't get serious about carrying weight in my middle, I might not be so fortunate. So here's to getting it all together.....!!!!