Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


I’m Leafing

I love springtime, almost as much as I love fall.

And I love my jasmine!

And I love gardens, and gardening! As long as it’s not too hot or cold or wet or dry. Guess you could call me a fair weather gardener. I just call me the WWG.  (World’s Worst Gardner.)

My favorite gardening is when I don’t do anything, and things just bloom. Like Jazzy–my jasmine who grows on the fence at the back of my garden.

Question: Do you name the plants in your garden? Is the fact that I do a sign that I’m . . .  Never mind. I don’t want to know.

Now, combine my enjoyment for gardens with my enjoyment of photography, which I’m not that good at either, but I enjoy the guts out of it.

Yesterday, I took my camera into the yard. I took Jazzy’s portrait, then noticed the leaves on one of my Japanese Maples in the first garden I built after moving here were looking good.

Don’t you love the way the light shines through?

I have a thing about leaves. I love to sit under a tree and just watch the leaves move in the breeze. They relax me as they whisper, rustle, play and some even predict the weather. (Deciduous trees’ leaves often turn upside down before a rain.)

I’ve been told that when I was an infant, I loved for Mama to put my carriage under a tree. I’d babble to the leaves as if they were talking with me.

I have a theory about babies and guardian angels.

BTW: Leaves aren’t easy to photograph on a breezy day. For some reason, they just won’t hold still. And living here on the lake, it’s a rare day that’s not breezy. So your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to pretend these pictures are well focused. This communication will self-destruct . . .  (TV Show/Movie title?)

Or maybe I’ll make-believe I wanted them this way so you could see the energy.



Old Ford Christmas Story

Dad has a favorite story he tells nearly every Christmas. I’ve heard it twice this year, and love it! I hope he tells it another time or two before the season is over.

My dad grew up in Old Ford and he lives there today. (Nearly all his kids moved back to C-Town, and he packed up and moved away. LOL)

When he was in grade school one year during the depression, I believe he said third grade, they drew names for their Christmas party.

Dad said he drew a girl’s name, and he was not thrilled. The teacher told them they couldn’t spend more than a quarter on the present, but they needed to bring it to the class Christmas party.

So Grandmother gave him a quarter and sent him to Old Ford’s Mercantile. (This was back in the day when it was safe to send your eight year old to the store all alone.)

Now the Mercantile was an interesting place. If I remember right, he said the Mercantile was built around the bank. Imagine a huge store with one corner taken up with another business–the bank. There was an entrance on the south and one on the east (main street). One side had groceries and one side had hardware and housewares, etc.

So Dad looked and looked and looked, trying to decide what to give the little girl. A little girl didn’t play with a top or a yo-yo back then. What should he get her?

Finally, he decided on a vase. Yes, you read that right. A fifteen cent vase for an eight-year-old girl. I always laugh out loud when he gets to that part.

The Vase! (Thanks Sister Cindy.)

He usually talks about how this little girl was polite when she opened the present, but he didn’t remember any squeals of joy when she opened it.

Now fast forward thirty for forty years. He walks into Sister Cindy’s house one day, and on her shelf sits . . . The Vase. He couldn’t believe his eyes. How in the world did Cindy get it?

Looking back over the years, he always figured the little girl had thrown it away or at least broken it. (Or maybe taken it back and traded it for a doll.)

“Where did you get this?”

“Bruce’s mother gave it to me.” Cindy answered. “She got it–”

“In third grade at the class Christmas party,” Dad finished for her. “I gave it to her.”

“Really?” Cindy was surprised. “She thought Don Holmes gave it to her.”

That makes me laugh, too, although I’ve never known Mr. Holmes. (There’s another funny story there, but I’ll save it for another time.)

So you never really know how much your gift is going to mean to a person. Or if they’ll learn to like it more as the years go by.

Funny thing is, if I’d given that little boy advice, I would have suggested a necklace or music box. Never in a thousand years would I suggest a vase. But she probably would have a necklace after all these years.

And I wouldn’t get to tell share Dad’s story.


Garden Touring!

I mentioned over at WRITINGSLUTS that I went to a garden tour this week. I don’t know if you’ve noticed before, but when you’re in a garden, everyone is a friend!

I went out Thursday morning, and then took Omega out on Friday. We had so much fun! Even ran into a few people who tried to pretend they didn’t know me. I didn’t let ’em get away with it though. 🙂

I thought I’d share my pictures with you.

This is the front of the garden shed Vickie had built (envy, envy). It fits perfectly into her landscape. I want one!

Trellis/garden bench.

I don’t remember the name of this one, but it’s fuzzy like bunny ears. So pretty!

Such a beautiful entry for her house!

Blanket flower and mumble mumble. (forgot again)

She keeps these Cleome (spider flowers) in pots because they’re so invasive.

I didn’t catch this fella’s name, but he came from Bustani Plant Farm in Stillwater, OK.

This is Papyrus. Yep, like the Egyptians used to write on. Vickie says they take a lot of water, but they’re so different! Worth the trouble.

Okay, besides working, trying to survive a cold/pneumonia and sleeping too much, that’s what I’ve been up to. Where’ve you been keeping yourself?