Friday, June 4, 2010

Meeting the 87 year old GARDEN CLUB Founder

Alright , here is the finale to my hurt garden feelings...and I like this story the best.
I got ready on Sunday to go up to the garden club tea-party. Put on a black sundress with  little polka dots all over it, put my hair up in a bun , put on some nice black summer sandals...then went out to my big front window to see if anyone had arrived. This is taking place only two houses down from me, and a big afternoon storm had come through earlier...I leaned close to the window, looking down towards the house. I was wondering if they were still going to have it ? Applied some lipstick , went out to grab my pretty plant to give to the home owner, who was my neighbor and was the garden club president's mother. Plus, she had started this garden club 60 YEARS AGO !!! 
I was a bit nervous, looked out the window again, no cars.
My husband passes by me, tells me I look pretty and walks out to his palace/ workshop.
I stand for awhile, look again out the big window, and deduce it was canceled from the storm.
Patted myself on the back for at least attempting to go to this tea, and went upstairs to change.
Also very relieved I did not have to go.

Days go by, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,..and while I am working in the yard on Thursday...I look on my porch and pass by the plant I was going to give my neighbor, the older garden club founder. I debate planting it in my yard, I debate giving it to her, I debate leaving it on her porch with a note.
I debate this mentally for about 4 days.
It was a pretty plant.

Then on Friday, I was doing some basic dead-heading of flowers, and a little weeding. I pass by the plant, and knew without a doubt that God wanted me to get my fanny down there and GIVE it to her .
So, I asked my son if he wanted to walk down there, he was laying in the driveway with Maxine...
They are quite a pair. he says ," Nope." I walk down not in my pretty dress, but dirty garden khakis, sweaty shirt and garden gloves carrying the plant. I was almost hoping she was not there, see how selfish I was !
But, I knocked, and low and behold...she answered.
She was utterly delighted I came by.
She was so excited by the new plant, pointed here and there with me about where she wanted to plant it.
I do not see this woman, almost I did not even know if she was sure who I was. Plus I knew her vision was bad.
She then guided me, barefoot over her thick rich grass to see her beautiful blue, purple, pink and white hydrangeas she had.
She told me many years ago , about 30 years or so, a yardman in the neighborhood would bring her little bushes, and they would plant them...and here they were.
I would say she probably had about 50 bushes back there.
She had birdbaths, lovely perennial flowers she wanted me to come get some of...she was very friendly. Then she said the craziest thing, she was talking about growing up in the low country, and she told her husband...who had passed away at 95 a few years earlier , that when she died she did not want to go to heaven, " I want to go to Charleston. ", she said with a smile and a tug at her collar.
I smiled, did not say anything about that being a slightly sacrilegious remark, as she had just told me she was 87 years old.
I was just respectful of her, and told her she looked much younger than 87, which she agreed to.
I liked that.

I stood there talking to her feeling like dirt , but also happy I had brought her the plant.

We then walked  back to her porch, she turns to me, hands clasped together across her chest,  and says, " I want you to join out garden club. " She was so excited, she told me that she had started this garden club 60 years ago, and she was the first President. I told her I was very impressed and I would definitely think about it.
We then talked about Charleston, she grew up close to there and could talk Gullah. She then started telling me little family stories.
I loved that too.

As I was saying my goodbyes, and I reminded her who I I really did not think she knew for sure,  she stopped me and said very directly, " I know who you are, you're coming to my garden party on Sunday. "
She told me her daughter told her about inviting me, and she was so happy to hear about it.
I froze.
I said I thought I missed the garden party last Sunday?
She says, " No, it is THIS Sunday. "

I then tell her I will try to be there  ,and then I leave and take some branches I had found on her yard down to the side of the road.

As I was walking back home...I laughed inside at myself, thinking I had gotten out of this pickle of Southern garden club women , and instead found out they were delighted I was coming still.

PLUS...another woman who lives close by stopped her car yesterday, asks me to come close...and goes, " I hear you're coming to our garden club party on Sunday . " 
So funny, boy does word get around these women.

Will let you know how it goes,
I may have scored a B- or so on this one from God. Probably lower. He's going to make me a better woman if it kills me,

More later, 

" Make room in my heart O God, That You may form in me , The image that You have shown in Christ, My very life to be..."

Old hymn ' Make Room In My Heart , O God ' by Bryan Jeffery leech 1950's


  1. What a delightful story! I am sure the garden club founder was delighted by your visit. No doubt you will enrich each other's lives, and, obviously, God has a plan! Her garden sounds fabulous with all those hydrangeas. BTW, your own Lost and Found garden is looking lush and wonderful.

  2. Hi, I just wanted to say that I stumbled across your blog while looking for an antique mailbox (long story) and I just wanted to let you know that your stories were quite inspiring. It's so nice to see someone sharing their walk with God. You have a lovely garden and a beautiful family. I liked the quotes you posted, too.

  3. I think you will have fun at the garden club party; folks united by a love of plants will probably be a hoot to hang out with, especially in your pretty black dress with polka dots.

  4. What a great story! I enjoyed it very much. Don't be scared, you will probably make some great new friends and have a lovely time...All the best! Kathryn

  5. You sure had me hanging on for the conclusion of this matter....Now I'll come back for the report of the meeting. I KNOW you're going to make many new friends

    Husband and I enjoyed our at-least-bi-weekly-summer-walk around our local Extension Garden last night. The roses were beautiful; the astillbe blooms remarkably full.

  6. Be scared! I was terrified the first time I went across to the Piketberg garden club. But I love my garden, I'm in a new climate, new soil, I NEED help. That is why I started my garden blog. And at the first meeting, Esther came over, hugged me, and said you're with us, you're from Porterville. Wednesday's post about twig baskets was at the last meeting.

  7. This sounds much more promising than your first garden club story! Have a good time on Sunday!

  8. Thanks to all the ladies above who commented on my meeting the original garden club president and founder ! And to Cynthia who happened upon this blog while looking fro picket fences, come back anytime.
    All of you above gardeners are so kind to put up with my goofy stories, thanks much, Gina

  9. Oh Gina,

    I loved this post because you remind me of "me". God does seem to drag me along at times and I am always the better for it, although I do not always make it easy for Him. I love going barefoot and hope to still do so when I am 87 :-)

    PS. Thank you very much for your kind comments.

  10. I think this story is going to turn out just fine in the end. And you made a little old Southern Lady very happy!

  11. This was a great story. Now it should be even more enjoyable knowing that they are happy you're coming. Looking forward to hearing about the party!


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