The local florist makes enough
to pay the month’s rent when I call each December.
( This bouquet of roses was for an anniversary
over ten years ago.The vase is fuller each year
and the pocketbook emptier.)
Although I am a Boomer, I’m not a “flower child.” That is not to say I do not know a calla lily from a chrysanthemum. Where we live, the daffodils and rhododendrons herald spring with bright blooms that I love. I just don’t want any part of bringing them to that glorious state. Why is it that I enjoy seeing flowers, yet have a strong loathing of digging in the dirt? Therein lies the tale.
My mother loved flowers and my dad loved a neatly trimmed lawn. So almost every Saturday as well as Sunday afternoon the family seemed to spend mowing, edging, weeding, trimming or fertilizing. Not only that, many an Easter vacation and much of every summer was devoted to making our little plot of Southern California green and blooming. Not my cup of dandelion tea. Add to that moving into new, bare-lot tract houses when I was six and again when I was fourteen, my dislike grew stronger. For those of you who have never had that experience, if you’re lucky, all you have to clear are weeds and do a little grading before you plant your lawn and flowers. At worst, you start by raking out creek-bed rocks and small boulders before bringing in clean top soil. The latter was the case for our second house. Not fun. To top it off, I earned money during high school by hauling off weeds and rocks for the developer from unsold houses in the tract for a summer, then provided lawn care and gardening for neighbors. By the time I hit college, my dislike became loathing.
(Photo Below: This is how a tract house yard began.)
The Isle of Man is most famous for the TT (Tourist Trophy) Races, when the northern half of the Isle is periodically shut down for a two week-long biker blow-out and motorcycle races. The ferries are packed with Yamahas, classic Triumphs and Moto Guzzis at the onset and after the races are over. The Prom (Promenade) along the bay is lined for two weeks with motorcycles, parked handlebar to handlebar. But this late May to early June big biker bash is but an interlude from the real British passion: their gardens. The churches even compete in flower arraigning for the Manx Flower Festival in July. Any time the sun is out in spring and summer (which was spotty, at best), most Brits are out plowing, planting, and pruning. The humblest cottage greets each spring with a profusion of colors, with annuals, biennials and perennials carefully nurtured to great beauty. While I can appreciate their glorious display, I am not willing to pay the price. Well, that’s not exactly true. I hired a gardener who did a fantastic job of keeping the garden looking spectacular. He even planted herbs like cilantro, dill and basil, which helped our cooking. But I never embraced that fine British tradition of putting on the old dungarees and puttering around in the garden.
While I was on the Isle of Man, I was in the Manx Classic Car Club, The St. Andrew’s Society of Ramsey and the Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society, which were in line with my interests. If any avid gardener reading this ever moves to the Isle of Man, please join the Manx Plant and Garden Conservation Society so that they don’t think all Americans have black fingers, which is the British term for the opposite of green thumbs.
(Rhody's in bloom)
He began writing fiction when he was in high school in the form of short stories. Most were of a futuristic/sci-fi theme. Although he never actively pursued having them published at the time, he has had several in ezines lately. Under his "Ron Cherry" byline, he has written a column on classic cars and hot rods for The Union newspaper in Grass Valley, CA, for over six years.
He has two books available, Christmas Cracker http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Cracker-ebook/dp/B008LY2N8Y/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1369503152&sr=1-2), which has SoCal P.I. Morg Mahoney solving a case of kidnapping and murder in Northern England, and Foul Shot (http://www.amazon.com/Foul-Shot-ebook/dp/B00CZ1PEZI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1369503054&sr=1-1&keywords=foul+shot), the story of Chicago Police detective Vince Bonelli and the woman who rips through his life with passion and issues that threaten to destroy him and all he holds dear.
Read more about R.L. Cherry and his writing at www.rlcherry.co