Friday, December 24, 2010
A Visit to Grandma's Garden
Grandma in this case is my Godmother Kathie and her husband Larry who live up in a gated community in the "village" of Wellington, FL.
The visit was our Xmas visit, we were to go out to lunch at a local restaurant, but I had to be On Time since Larry couldn't linger. Unfortunately he had a Funeral to go to and since they're rarely a pleasant thing, we left for the restaurant almost immediately after my driving up to their place.
As pleasant as Grandma's Garden is, getting there is unpleasant. I have to ask South Florida have you lost your mind? I could easily make a nice living writing traffic violations everywhere in between Wilton Manors and Wellington. I've grown used to seeing people not even pretend to see a stop sign. I am convinced that the mark of a bad driver is the Mercedes Benz nameplate on a car, as well as BMW and Lexus. Add to all of this, I watched a Delray Beach Police Cruiser speed past me on 441 just to pull into a shopping center and get out to get into a fast food restaurant when I caught up with him later.
All of that aside, my family is a wonderful group of people, and I truly don't visit them long enough or often enough. It is a 50 mile one way trip, and that is just long enough to make it an annoying trip no matter whether I am being passed by hungry police, or have neighbors in a Mercedes Benz trying to cut me off while merging into traffic on Powerline road.
Hey Mercedes Drivers here's a hint... If I'm in front of you, I have the right of way. Furthermore, if you're in Wilton Manors on NE 26th St near the Library and the Elementary School and you are behind me, I'm driving 30MPH or less because of the safety issues that we have here. Tailgating me only makes me slow down. That particular driver of the Silver C Class was a neighbor from the Central Neighborhood who I have seen around many times before acting like... well a Mercedes Driver.
I'll allow you to use the appropriate four letter word, I try to keep this blog Safe For Work.
At the restaurant we spent a pleasant half hour in the shade of the building eating our lunches and discussing the changes of the world, and making some rather complete plans on how to do things as diverse as restructuring the economy, the demise of the political system into one party in the United States, and of course how to make a perfect cup of coffee using the Turkish Method.
Boil water, add four scoops of espresso grounds to 16 ounces of boiling water, stir for 30 seconds, rest for 30, stir for 30 more and allow to sit for a minimum of 3 minutes. Strain the coffee, or just pour it until you start to see more grounds than you prefer. Sweeten and Cream to taste.
After all of that, Kathie and I climbed into the dusty old Jeep Wrangler to go back to Grandma's Garden. Every time we visit, we have the chance to walk through and see what changes she has seen over the years. Larry and Kathie are fortunate enough to have a home that backs up to a Nature Preserve. It is an unnamed little area, and is expected to be left as Nature Intended It. That means don't plant hibiscus in it, don't mow the grass down... in short leave it completely untended. Since Wilma went though I have watched the area rebound and begin to green up. The citrus trees that the neighbors have planted to the edge of the area may be ragged, but the palms and sawgrass are coming back and it is harder to see the homes on the other side.
However there is a little garden that borders the "non-property" that Larry and Kathie and the neighbors have maintained of mostly Florida Native species. Kathie proudly pointed out that the plants that were added since they have come to live in this little patch of South Florida are mostly Natives and told the story of how they are watching the Landscapers from the Home Owner's Association to make sure that the weed killers they use are not used on the Natives.
The Coleus won't go in that plot, they're reserved for their little walkway by the cracked stone in front of the house. We are replenishing our own little corners of the world each in our own way. Taking cuttings with us as we go back and forth, she sent me home with some cuttings of a native plant that was encroaching on the walk way. I was told to make sure it was truly a Native since she was proud to give me something from her world and suggested I show it to M.E. De Palma for her park.
All of her cuttings are in Wellington waiting to root, and mine are gracing the window waiting for that time as well. For now, we will wait to see what survives the next cold snap.