On Mother’s Day, I offered my readers a free desktop wallpaper that I’d created from a photograph I took in my studio of a beautiful White Iris. (You can still download the 1024×768 if you haven’t already.)
Pete (of Shakey Pete) commented and said that his mother raised Iris, so my wallpaper triggered a fond memory of his mom, appropriate on Mother’s Day, I think. His comment made me think. I love comments like that, so thanks, Pete. You brought my daughter and I a little closer on Mother’s Day. I appreciate that.
There’s a story behind this White Iris, which I’ll get to here in a second, but Pete’s comment left me curious. What kind of flowers would my own children grow after I’m gone that will remind them of me, and why? I thought for sure that Catybug would say “Gerbera Daisies!” or even “Stargazer Lilies!” But no. That was not the case.
Now let me tell you a little story.
Last Wednesday, my children attended youth group – at two different churches. Catybug went with her girlfriend after school to attend youth at her church, and I dropped off my little Chickeymonkey at our church.
On the way home, I had to run an errand to pick up food for our guinea pig and bunny. I find the best food for them at Teske’s, our local pet and garden center. I also really, really enjoy visiting the parrots! So, as you could probably guess, I visited the parrots first.
Right. Why carry around loads of food if you just have to put it down to play with the critters? Common sense.
Without any regard to how much time had passed (Because apparently, I have an eternity to shop while I’m at a pet store. Time stands still while you’re making cooey and clicky noises to birds, don’tchyaknow.), I visited with the animals. Then there was an uncomfortable moment where I was forced to either pet the Eclectus or buy him, so I ran and hid in the corner of the store and sucked the thumb he nearly bit off.
I picked up 10 pounds of food for the critters that DON’T bite me, and ohhhh my gosh – —- a new truckload of flowers? Did someone say they got more flowers? Ooooh I had to check out the garden center.
Now, rewind to earlier in the day. I’m talking to my dear, sweet friend Taba, and she’s telling me how she’s swooning over White Irises, and she really wants some. We’re talking about flowers, and I remind her of my Monkey Butt (aka Baboon Bottom) Batik Iris that I’ll actually get to see this year, and blabbity blab blab green thumb girl talk.
Okay, got all that? She wants the White Iris. She wants ALL Irises, really, all of them. All in her yard. Right now. Yea, yea, so do I.
Fast forward to me in the garden center, carrying around 10 pounds of smashed condensed timothy hay and corn flake chips. And then, then I spotted the Irises. The WHITE Irises.
I chose the one that was on the verge of blooming. I thought, I’m going to name her Taba (which I did) and next year, I’ll split it and send her some for her garden! Irises, for those unfamiliar, have a bulk of the root at ground level, so one big giant stem teeter tottered above the root in a 4″ square pot. They had braced it up with little green stakes, so I carefully pulled it out from behind a half dozen other random colored Irises, and with one hand wrapped around 10 pounds of critter food, I carefully balanced a teeter-tottering White Iris in my right hand.
And continued on in my search for anything else I might want to add to my garden.
20 minutes later, I found more stuff. Crud, I found more stuff. I’m looking around for a cart, for anything I can put stuff down on – but found nothing. My left bicep was beginning to throb from the weight of the critter food and obviously, if I wasn’t careful with my right hand, my Iris would topple.
I gently set it down, set the critter food down, and went on a search for a tray to put all of my finds in.
Of course, the critter food and the new (mexican heather) went into the tray, but the Iris, the Iris was special. I held everything else in my left hand, and the Iris in the right.
Careful…. carreeeeful….. I asked the checkout clerk if he had a tall brown bag to put the iris in, so it wouldn’t break. Together, we slid it down to the bottom of the bag. Aaaah. Safe. Wait – no – he didn’t know what color the pot was, so we had to reach down in there and pull it back out. Crap. We got it out – put it back in. Phew. Okay. Safe again.
I paid for everything and loaded everything carefully into the back seat of the car. I put the Iris against the back seat, and braced it in with the critter food.
Are you getting all of this carefulness? I could not and probably wasn’t EVER this careful with my own kids as newborns. But this Iris? I could. not. break.
On the drive home, I called Taba. I was so excited to share my fortune! WoohOOOO and I’m going to split it and mail it to you and wheee! We’ll have the same White Irises! YAYYYY what are friends for!! Splitting perennials, that’s what!
She asks what the official name of the Iris is, and I’m just about in my driveway, so I pull into my driveway, park in the garage, get out of the car, open the back door, grab ahold of the Very Special SUPER CAREFULLY HANDLED White Iris and pull it out of my car…..
And busted the stalk.
Yep. I did.
So, when my eldest daughter returned from youth group, I told her this story. She laughed, and laughed, and laughed s’more. She even cried. She almost spit her ice cream out her nose.
It makes sense to me, then, when I asked her what flower she’d plant to remember me by, she replied “White Irises.”
Glad to know I’ll be giving that girl chuckles from beyond the grave!