Letters

May’s memories ones to cherish

Heavens! Mid-May already! How can that be?

Although I’m not really ready for it, I guess it is here, and I better get my motor started and roar off in a rush before everything really special in the nurseries has been sold and I’m left with a lot of tattered seedlings that have been “passed over” as “unhealthy” or “unidentifiable.”

I was on Pender Island recently with Barbara, my eldest daughter. She is another mad gardener and her large deck is loaded with more than 30 pots, varying in size from a few 10 inch ones, to whoppers holding shrubs. Many of these were full of tulips: yellow ones, orange ones, red ones and a few pink. Lovely! Seen against a back ground of blue ocean they were glorious! As you approach the house entry (the back door) she has mounds of agapanthus to welcome you and you have just passed a bank she has planted with dozens of daffodils, many of which were in bloom. That girl has been busy!

Her eldest son, and his family were also there. The dog was frantic with all the excitement and barked continuously until ushered outside into the rain where, instead of barking, he whined piteously until allowed back in (where he had the good sense to lie down and remain strictly silent).

The company was great, the food marvelous and the bed comfortable but it was nice to get home to my own quiet place and sleep in my own bed.

On Pender, they no longer hold a religious service at dawn at Brook’s Point to celebrate Easter but we did go to church, which was well attended, mostly by the elderly, who are hoping for a place in Heaven after living a sin-free life. Well, I’m not at all sure about that, having been told that the Gulf Islands are rife with not only dozens of deer but also with many “casual” human relationships. Hmmmm!

Two important birthdays this month. My Nanaimo brother on the ninth and my dear departed Jim’s on the 10th. The first year of our marriage he came home from work and asked,”What day is this?”

I said, “May the tenth.”

He said, “Yes, but what other day is it?”

Rather exasperated I groaned, “It’s Wednesday.”

He laughed and said, “What else?”

Suddenly it dawned on me: “Oh, Jimmy, it’s your birthday and I haven’t got you anything.”

I took him out for dinner that evening and during the next 40 years never again let that day pass UN-remembered and UN-celebrated. Now it is just one more memory to cherish.

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.

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