Jim of Jim-Jim told me to keep it down the other day when I asked him if he wanted some of the Hydrangea I was yanking out of the yard behind my house. The small clump of 20 years ago had become an unruly mob. Undisciplined and out of freakin control.
"Shh Mike. We have to think about our Man images. Talk of flowers, transplanting and such nonsense might just give folks the wrong idea about which side of the plate we bat from."
You're left handed Jim, you should be okay with it. Me, well being a rightie, I probably ought to question what I have lurking in my closet." We both smiled. Just more of the usual male banter that exists between friends and colleagues.
This small conversation deriding any male affinity for plants of the flowering type bounced around my mind over the past few days as I busily worked on the many plants in my yard that actually produce flowers most of us would find pleasant to look at.
I like flowers. I have always liked them. Of course, growing up in a house with a crazed amateur horticulturist did not give me many other options. My father was constantly messing with plants. He grew corn in Hawaii when everyone on base told him it was impossible. He managed to create wonderful beds of color everywhere we lived.
When I was young, his flower beds, his yard, his little slice of this planet was more a land of Hell for me. He was the brains. I was the labor. Weed there, mow that, trim this. Yard work sucked when everyone else was playing ball down at the local school yard. I did my best to deny I actually enjoyed it, but apparently some of his passion rubbed off.
I will admit though, about the beginning of July, I grow weary of the maintenance factor. I begin to slack and by September, the yard looks like me just before my next haircut. I excuse this personal failing by insisting I am just allowing the yard to create a good winter coat to survive the upcoming months of ice and snow. Yeah, right. I enjoy slacking almost more than working. Some days, any excuse to slack is better than the alternative.