"if thou of fortune be bereft,
and in thy store there be but left
two loaves, sell one, and with the dole
buy hyacinths to feed thy soul."
I think that was probably the first poem I memorized as a child. I don't remember ever not knowing it. Perhaps that explains a lot.
So a few weeks ago, Paul had to stop at Lowe's to get some house repair stuff. as usual in such stores, I said, "Come find me in the garden area when you're done." As I walked into the garden area, I saw about ten big shelves with a sign that said, "Clearance--All you can pile into a shopping cart for $10." And I spied some petunias, which I had meant to buy this year because they're supposed to help your tomatoes, and some lantana, which is one of my favorites because I remember the flowers that are themselves tiny bouquets from my grandmother's yard. So I pretty much had to go and get a cart. Interestingly, the task of filling the cart brought out two definite parts of my character. The first is the tender-hearted lover of all things living. I just kept thinking, "They're probably going to throw these out tomorrow if they don't sell. I can't stand for them to just be thrown out to die--poor babies." And then this challenge somehow brought out my competitiveness, which I sometimes tell myself does not exist. :) I was going to get the maximum number of plants that I possibly could for that ten bucks. I was going to surprise them with how many plants they would have to give me for my money. Of course, these two characteristics wrestle back and forth because the competitive cheapskate wants to just pile as many plants in the basket as possible, but the life-cherisherer wants to make sure that no single plant suffers any more crushing or damage of any kind. Yes--it took a long time to fill my basket. And of course, the very sad thing is this: Since summer has hit Dallas, I can only physically stand to be outside before 8:30 a.m. Now my summer classes have begun, so I leave the house at 6:30 a.m. Monday thru Friday. So some of the precious plantlings that I saved from death by commercial garbage bin are now slowly dying of thirst and lack of root space while I try to make room for them in the few tiny spots of decent dirt we have.
But . . . I did fit sixty-something plants in that shopping cart.