Friday, August 5, 2011

Nobody's Prefect!

My perennial bed, and a few coleus,
blossom less bee balm in the back
(call it a deer salad bar).

There’s an elderly lady in my neighborhood who I have seen dressed stylishly in her own offbeat sort of way. Always wearing a pretty scarf tied around her neck, hat or beret tilted to one side, polyester pants, and a button secured to her vest with the saying “Nobody’s Prefect!” I have seen her eating a hamburger and fries at the local diner alone, yet everyone who comes in seems to know her, and waves. As she walks in style down Broadway, I admire her grace and self-effacing way of letting the world know that she’s human, with this badge on her chest, and I always smile to her in passing. She knows who she is, and with courage and a sense of humor, admits that she has faults, daily.
My friend Jill and I just spoke with her the other day, She’s 90.

Sometimes, I take myself a little too seriously, but I think that’s a result of a lack of self-esteem. I am blessed though, to have great friends, and my husband John, and my sisters Barb, Dayle and Sue, who make me laugh, and restore my sense of humor that slips away in self brooding activity. I wish I were a better singer, a better songwriter, and a better player. But these wonderful people in my life who support in a non-obtrusive way, and turn it over for me by showing me what I have to offer help make life so much better. Their kind support enables me to press on. They shows me what I should know about myself already, and I am thankful they are in my life. Beyond what is happening with “ME,” my musical pursuits, and self absorbed thinking, I am reminded by their presence, that life is a day to day process, and being in the NOW, —the present, with them, is the BEST present I can have.

Abundance surrounds me. I have the basics of everyday living: clean water to drink, clean air to breathe, a roof over my head, a full fridge, loving and caring friends and family.

Red maple in prison
As I look at my garden I see signs of my own neglect, mistakes I have made in planning, and things I have no control over. The basil in the clay pot has wilted from lack of water in the heat wave. The "miracle daisy mix" of seeds needs more than a miracle. The shade-loving astilbe I transplanted has fried in the late afternoon sun. The red maple that I was so proud of myself for having brought back to life was eaten by the deer, when I meant to put a cage around it and decided to wait a week. It is now in tree prison, or “Penin-tent-a tree”, being protected from critters of all kinds. The lupine seedlings I grew indoors in April, and transplanted in June, were trampled by that same deer. A few survive. Maybe they’ll come back in all their splendor next year. 

"Miracle Daisy Mix" sprouts
Nothing seems to bother the Hostas, except for the bunnies. A bunny has to eat, too. Lilies are blossoming with names like “Champagne” and “Great Balls of Fire” sent to me by my sister Dayle who always thinks of me. I look at these and remind myself that she was a great protector of Susie and me when we were kids. Claire’s Bush, the Rhododendron my mother bought a few years ago “So you would have something to remember me by” has grown at least another foot taller, as have I from the loving gesture of her gift. I have a some garden jewelry, a dragon fly that dances on a metal stick with bells that hang from it from Sue, who also gave me some coral bells, lily of the valley, Myrtle and invasive (I love that!) Bee Balm, also eaten by that darn deer, is blooming once gain. One of the first house warming gifts I received was from my sister Barbara, a beautiful birdhouse made of ceramic. It hangs by my front door greeting everyone, sans birds, but I refer it that way. Barb now has her own new garden, and I can’t wait to dig up some yellow lilies, daffodils and other perennials and share them with her.

Champagne lily peeking through
ornamental grass
Gardening, as with life, is a learning process, a successive string of trial and errors. I can refer to my favorite books as a resource for instruction, but actually “doing” is a completely different matter. Nothing is going to happen perfectly. The ornamental grass completely outshines the new lilies that I thought would be taller. But there is something beautiful about the way these short and more colorful characters peek out trough the spindly fronds, as though they are wearing a wedding veil.

While nobody’s perfect, including myself, there needs to at least a few things you can be sure of in life. I am very sure about my loyal friends and family, and my ability to help a friend in their time of need, my delicious cooking. I am also sure about my songwriting skills. Turning a phrase, telling a story, writing a tune. This gift that I have been given makes me happy and I have worked to hone it, and craft it, over the years. And, while my voice isn’t star-making material, to quote Stevie Wonder, “Ya gots to work with, what ya gots to work with!”


  1. nice post!

    related to something i re-posted yesterday:


  2. Thanks John Son-yes--as things become less important--the more open they are (or maybe "we" are) to change...nice! Thanks for sharing that! KH