Suffer the (Rose’s) Children

My sister and her boyfriend came over the day before yesterday to help me bake some Christmas cookies. When I realized that Jesse had scant interest in joining us in the kitchen I asked him if, by any chance, he felt like doing a little yard work. He was game, and within minutes had finished digging up the two small rose bushes on the second terrace. Within minutes! It was a task completed shockingly fast. It illustrated to me better than ever how painfully slow and feeble I have become at physical labor. That same job would have taken me two more days at least. And there would have been a great deal more complaining along the way.

I asked Jesse if he had any interest in taking on “the Mother” — the final behemoth remaining on this terrace. He said he couldn’t bring himself to do it. “It’s a nice rosebush!” he pleaded. If he was hoping I would grant it clemency he doesn’t know me very well. Towards that bush — or any of the rose family — I have no soft spot at all.

But Jesse wouldn’t budge either. Instead, my sentimental friend discovered the “Indian clay” that fills my garden beds and made a few little totems. I like them a lot, but perhaps, for fun, I will bury them in the hole he dug. In a hundred years someone will dig them up and think we worshipped dogs here. Or bones. They will certainly not think we worshipped roses.

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