I was beginning to worry that the Georgia winter of 2010 had frightened all of the spring blossoms into permanent hibernation or something. These little fellows wake up every year, usually during the month of February. They were a bit late this year, but I had been watching… and waiting… for these jonquils.
They pop up in this field...
...beside this abandoned old house...
...along the 30 country mile commute.
Now to most of the people I know, a jonquil is about three steps above a weed. It’s a wannabe daffodil with that love it/ hate it smell of the narcissus.
But to me, it’s a favorite flower. It reminds me of my early dating days with the husband. I use the term loosely because it hardly resembles the jet setting date life of this current generation.
The man and I met in college where we were both living on a ramen noodle budget. Since I was child number 4 of 4, and he was number 4 of 5, neither one of us was afforded the a limousine lifestyle.
In fact, there wasn't a set of wheels between us. Our dates were limited to those places within walking distance and usually involved anything that we could do for free.
So every afternoon, weather permitting, we would take a walk.
And we ( that would be mostly I ) would talk. I would yakkity yak across the campus and through the Athens side roads. (The man should probably wear a button of full disclosure that he knew exactly what he was getting when he married me…)
One afternoon, in the spring of our relationship, I noticed a patch of jonquils bursting into bloom. I was delighted. He called them weeds and said he wasn't at all fond of a jonquil, but then he reached down and plucked up a yellow weed bouquet and handed it to me.
And that's how it all started.
In the months that followed, he helped himself to a variety of plucked bouquets, most of which were pilfered from random gardens along our talking route. While I talked, he did flower surveillance and a commando raid on some unsuspecting blossom.
It was an adventure.
Of course when the Duchess heard about the Great Plucking Adventure, she nearly fainted.
That is STEALING, Deb-rah!
It was? Seriously, we never considered that gardeners would mind a random pluck or two in the interest of true love. Aren't flower lovers the ultimate romantics?
Well, either due to guilt... or fear that there was an APB out for the phantom Romeo of Milledge Avenue… or probably because the newness wore off of the relationship… he eventually stopped the serial petal plucking.
But to this day, when I see a patch of jonquils burst forth in the early spring, I remember those walks and the skinny boy who used to pluck me flowers a when he couldn't afford to take me to dinner.
And I pluck myself a bouquet.
And it always makes me smile.