There aren't many flowers blooming in my front garden.In fact, what's flowering aren't flowers but weeds. Looking at them takes me back to a visit to my Grandparents' home in the prairies. Let's take a trip down memory lane! Back to a time when you had to get up and dial the knob to the 3 channels you could view on the t.v. if the reception gods were smiling at you at that moment. Back to a time when phone service to this quaint town was made up of party lines. Ring once for the home, ring twice for the store!! Very annoying if your bedroom is near the phone stand-no mobiles or portables then.
There wasn't much for me to do to entertain myself at their home but being an only child, I adapted. About 500 feet away from the front door of their house was the railway. The china in the cabinets most certainly got a workout. No brittle stuff here or you would find it broken on the floor.The tracks were still in use and so was the grain elevator. I would walk along the tracks for miles, past the dug out where I sometimes caught tiny frogs and salamanders or a quick swim. Someone had even left a couple of boards so you can get out easier. Out to the the cemetery on the South side and then leave the tracks for the dirt road to the other cemetery where I found some familiar names. I sometimes continued down that road where I picked Saskatoon berries with my Father and was chased by cows. There was a dugout there where my dad said he used to swim and catch lizards-a rusty old slide ladder protruded from a corner. I don't think the cows were using it much.
It amazed me that my Grandmother always knew when I was on the tracks. Apparently, my pants were covered with black "tarry" stuff that only she could see. To curb my appetite for wandering I was told to do some reading. I've always been a reader and had brought my own books. I was introduced to Reader's Digest and the family bible that held information on the family tree. So, while the Priest came to visit my Grandparents;the local church was almost in the backyard, I scampered off, this time to gather some flowers to embellish my basement bedroom.
The coast was clear when I came back through the front door with a bouquet of mostly yellows and purples and a few whites. The wild roses were flimsy and had very little stems so did not do well in my mason jar vase. Beside it was my mason jar of swimming frogs. A few hours later, Grandma came to see if all was well and if my bed was made and had asked what that smell was in there? I said "What smell?" There are a few smells in a basement after all. She took a look and said "What are you doing with those weeds?" I said they are flowers, making the room look pretty. Those aren't flowers, they are weeds-it's time you learned the difference between the two. That meant if it wasn't raining next day I was to help weed the flowers, the real ones. The ones you sow, nurture, cut and delight in arranging into a vase.
Since that episode, whenever I would visit their home, there was always a small juice glass filled with sweet peas, as a reminder of what a true flower was meant to represent and the little secret we had.