A Tiger Lily Tale
On a recent shopping trip to "WallyHell", I was greeted with a large display of potted tiger lilies near the store entrance. I had to have some! Why? Because they instantly reminded me of my Grandmother and tugged at my heart.
My Grandmother, a second generation American, grew up on a farm in South Dakota, married, raised four sons and kept the farm going after her husband died while the boys were still young. She was an imposing figure in my young years - large, strong, hard-working and practical. Yet she also had a wonderful sense of humor, and we loved hearing stories of childhood pranks she and her siblings played as we snuggled next to her in bed at night. She taught us how sew and embroider, as well as to play cards and dominoes, and the German words for such endearing names as "dumb head" and "dumb donkey". :-)
Grandma had a green thumb when it came to growing vegetables and flowers, continuing to maintain a large garden long after she retired and moved to a small property in the nearby city. My cousins and I delighted in summer visits to her house where she'd made a playhouse in the front of the garage for us, had a wading pool filled and warming in the sun, and a bounty of fresh vegetables ripe for picking and eating (including tiny yellow pear tomatoes that rarely made it into the house). Bunches of flowers grew everywhere in her yard, and inside the windowsills were filled with geraniums and other plants that bloomed year around, thriving in repurposed coffee cans. As children we teased her about her fancy flowerpots.
The flowers I most loved were the exotic tiger lilies which grew and multiplied against her fenceline - their bold orange blossoms speckled with dark brown, standing out against the bright blue sky. They are probably the reason I still love the color orange today... in my mind, orange and summer sunshine go together.
I smiled as I placed a pot of tiger lilies in my cart, and I noticed other folks smiling as I pushed it down the aisles, blossoms standing out amidst the groceries, cat food and toiletries. Today they're headed for a permanent home in the large frontyard flowerbox my daughter made.
Thank you Grandma, for instilling in me a strong will to survive, an appreciation for beauty amidst practicality, and a love of bright colors to offset life's cloudy days.
What kind of flowers did your grandma grow?