Saturday, April 17, 2010

magnolias, and other nice surprises

When I was a little girl, me and my sister were friends with Sarah K., the girl who lived next door. Bordering our houses was a beautiful magnolia bush that bloomed every spring. One year, right before the flowers burst open, the big, thick blossoms hung on the bush in tightly-clustered bunches. We were playing "house," and we needed food to put on our dishes. So we grabbed a pair of gardening shears and a big wicker basket, and we clipped each and every magnolia bud from the bush. I'll never forget the snip, snip of the shears as they crunched through the ripe blossoms. We brought our basket, laden with magnolia blossoms, over to the porch (our makeshift "house"), and served a triumphant meal with our beautiful, newly-harvested "food."

I don't remember what sort of reaction Sarah's mom had when she saw her mutilated magnolia bush, but my mom still shudders when she tells the story.

So you see, magnolias and I go way back...

We may have bought a house in desperate need of rehabbing, but we did get something good out of the deal: a big, juicy magnolia tree, right in the middle of our backyard.

The blossoms are almost gone now, but you should have seen it in full bloom. Absolutely breathtaking.

I think we might have seen the magnolias last year, but we were in the middle of contract negotiations on the house, and simple things like blooming trees didn't grab our attention in the midst of broken sewers, stinky cat smell, and raccoons in the attic.

This year, cats and raccoons are gone, the sewer is fixed, and every morning for the past week, I've looked out my window, seen the beautiful magnolia blossoms... and smiled a quiet little smile, thinking only of poor Mrs. K's magnolia bush.

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