Spent the weekend cleaning up the yard and orchard, throwing bagged grass clippings at the feet of apple trees or onto the garden, and planting rhododendrons.
Before Beloved left for her trip, we talked about how we would replace the torn-down fence with rhodies.
"Red rhodies," she said. "No white flowers."
What I remembered was "no white flowers." What she remembers is "red."
It makes a difference.
I went to Gray's and they had lots of red-blooming rhodies but only in the $29.99 size. I felt I was on a budget and picked out four nice-looking pinks for $9.99 each.
Took them home, dug their holes, watered them in, and pulled the grass-clipping blankets up around their little green chins.
Stood back and admired. Nice!
I picked Beloved up from the train station.
Among other news, I told about getting the rhodies.
"What color are they?"
We said red."
I burst into tears, and it took rather awhile for the conversation to proceed from there. It was true, red had been specifically mentioned. She's not as into pink as I am and it didn't help in this instance that at least I hadn't gotten anything with white blooms, which neither of us cares for.
Friends of our like to give us plants -- but invariably the giveaways bloom white, and we'd have overdosed on white even if we really liked it. In flowers.
At home, when I had recovered somewhat, we cautiously reopened the discussion and I went to the whiteboard and drew a grounds plan with the row of pink rhodies across the top, by the driveway and along the road.
"I can pull these two and put them here" -- drawing quickly -- "and here, and then get three red rhodies and put them here, here, and here."
"That would work," she said. "But you say there aren't any red ones?"
"Not in our size, not at Gray's right now. But somebody might have them."
She had other errands to run, so I went out and hit the nurseries. All red rhodies, such as Taurus or Vulcan, were in the $29.99 size. Until I got to Jerry's.
Jerry's Home Improvement is mostly about paint, tools, and lumber, but there is a fenced-in plant sales area in the parking lot, and here there were hundreds of white, pink, or purple rhodies in $9.99 pots -- and three red Vulcans in monster 4-gallon tubs for $19.99 each.
"I'll take them."
While I was putting these in, I noticed that men in pickup trucks wave to me these days. They didn't used to. But, then, in those days I didn't look the way I do now.
I do like it that they do that, even though I have feelings about equality that are maybe in conflict with that feeling.
But when all is said and done, I don't mind smiling and getting smiles, while putting a red rhody in among the pinks.
-- Back in the house, later, I found a heart drawn on the landscape plan, and in it, the words "Thank You!"