Saturday, March 1, 2008

Jonquils and Memories

When I was growing up, everyday we drove by a house we referred to as "Miss Bessie's House." She was a mysterious woman I can't recall ever seeing, but her yard was always covered in blooming Jonquils every February. She didn't have just a few flower beds of them, they almost completely blanketed the entire yard. It was always so beautiful to top the hill, and see the explosion of yellow. I was blessed with that sight this afternoon as I drove to my Mother's house for her 69th birthday celebration.

It made me think about my childhood and the expectation of those flowers every day in February. It reminded me as well, of when I was a grown married woman and I transplanted some bulbs at our old homeplace. My great grandmother evidently had a very green thumb, because even several years after her death, her yard was still filled with beautiful blooms of countless varieties. I don't remember what year it was, but it must have been after LeLe was 4, because that was the year we moved into the house she grew up in. I remember walking around my great grandmother's place, (no one living there then) and digging up Jonquil bulbs. I planted them all over my yard. I wish I could have brought some of them with me, just for sentimental reasons. Before my cousin took over the place, there was an azalea bush in front of the porch that was almost as tall as the porch roof. It was absolutely wonderful. My uncle inherited her green thumb and thought it best to trim it back. I'm sure he was right, but I was disappointed. I tried to dig up some shoots of her enormous Magnolia tree, but was unsuccessful.

And that brought to my mind for some reason, a day when I was very young, and my grandfather put my brother and me on his horse, named Old Scott, and walked us over to my gr-grandmother's place. She was gone by then, but my great aunt lived there still. I was terrified, but I think it was the height of the horse, and not the horse itself I was afraid of. My brother however, was "stepping in high cotton" as they used to say.

My aunt had hair down past her waist and it was strange to me that a woman old enough to have solid gray hair, wore it so long. She stuck her head out the door, and she was braiding one side of it, the other side was still free. I was amazed. I'd never seen anything like it. She always wore the braids wrapped around her head. Unfortunately, a few years later, she fell and broke her wrist, couldn't braid it any longer and cut it all off. I really was disappointed about that.

I don't know why those memories surfaced today, but I wanted to get them down before I forgot. Maybe my great grandchildren will read this one day and think.... "Wow!"


Michelle said...

Ms. Bessie's houseplace is a gorgeous piece of property! Are you referring to Aunt Mary Carter? Oh my goodness...I barely remember her! Oh--and I want to someday go to grandma's old house place and dig up some jonquil bulbs to plant at my house...

B Lines said...

Yes, Aunt Mary Carter. Funny how we always called both names when referring to her. Never just Aunt Mary.

Sooz said...

I love Jonquils. This is a great post.

LeLe said...

Forget the great grandchildren...your own child is saying "Wow!"

I do love jonquils as they are my birth flower. Maybe that's where we should have our pictures taken, at Aunt Mary Carter's old homeplace. Are there still jonquils out there?