Sago Palms and Soap

I couldn’t resist peeking out of the blinds this morning to get yet another look at the long, rectangular flower bed in the front yard. Otis, Judy, and I spent several hours Friday trying to beautify the area, and if I must say so myself (and I MUST), we succeeded. Remembering our efforts and again noting our success reminds me of the importance of gratitude.

Early that morning we jumped in Judy’s Highlander for a trip to Reynold’s Nursery where they have great plants and fair prices, and after walking around, looking at dozens of varieties of plants, and asking tons of questions, we finally decided on our selections and headed home to place them in the ground. Three hours later, we stood back and looked at (admired) our handiwork…ah, the gratifying feeling of accomplishment that comes after hard work. This morning, here are ten things that our joint enterprise gave me to be thankful for:

1) the varieties of plants and their growing patterns, textures, and colors. I’m excited about the way the Sago palm looks next to the Indian hawthorne and lantana. I even sneaked a little blue daze flowering plant in an empty spot, and it already makes me happy.

2) the way that the three of us worked as a team to design and plant the bed.

3) Judy’s willingness to give up several hours to assist us in the hot sun, despite her fair skin and reddening face.

4) the taste of cold, cold water; nothing can assuage thirst quite so effectively.

5) perspiration…it lets me know that my body is working properly and reminds me of the miracle of health.

6) the feeling of accomplishment after working hard and successfully completing a project.

7) warm, soapy water. Our arms, hands, legs, and feet were caked in dirt, and I couldn’t help but think of all the people who have toiled under the hot sun for centuries without the luxury of soap and water. Even today this is so.

8) Mr. Reynolds’ (the nursery owner) expertise and his patient nature in sharing it with us.

9) the money we saved by designing and planting the bed ourselves.

10) the little inner chuckle I experienced later in the day when I told Paul that we had worked like Trojans in the yard. “Do Trojans have the reputation for working hard?” he asked. I told him that I didn’t know and that the expression was just a cliché. From there our short dialogue went to wondering why people say they work like dogs when few dogs work…or where the expression “sweating like pigs” came from. Has anyone ever seen a pig sweat?


Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

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