From the confines of my cozy bed, I listened to the news and debated whether to even go for a walk, on this day two of a four-day, rain-filled sogfest. The 6:00 a.m. news meteorologist reported we had 95% humidity, no doubt due to the non-stop rain we’ve received in the past 24 hours. Why not create a bucket brigade all the way to California because we have plenty of water to spare here in Michigan?
Though I was inclined to skip the walk, there is my 500-mile mileage goal to be mindful of, and, besides …they said no rain was coming ‘til the 9:00 o’clock hour. So, I got up and at ‘em and headed out by 7:30.
Whew! It was humid, just like an August day. I glanced at the dark and drab sky with the thickening clouds and knew rain threatened in the not-too-distant future, despite their ETA prediction. But, having taken the effort to get dressed and attach my miscellaneous walking paraphernalia, I set out anyway, taking care not to stray far from home, lest a sudden soaking downpour drench me from top to toe. I’m not one of those gals glorified in the e-mails that circulate from time to time that proclaims “life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s learning to dance in the rain” … nope, that’s not my M.O. at all.
I headed down toward Wyandotte and the many fog horns filled the moist humid air and sounded like a herd of cattle lowing in a pasture. It reminded me of when I travelled with my parents to Bavaria this time of year in 1979. We stayed in a sleepy Alpen town in a small chalet where the owner kept his cattle out back of that bed and board. During our one-week stay, every morning he let the cows out as soon as the sun was up. Paying no mind to the early hour (nor his guests), he guided those critters up the mountain, but first they had to pass the chalet, and they did so with their big hooves clomping and clattering along that narrow road. Each step brought a clanging from the big bell slung on a wide leather collar around their respective necks. Those cattle lowed from the time they left the barn, all the way up into the mountainside where they were left to graze until the sun sank low on the horizon – then the journey was repeated in reverse. At least everyone was awake by then.
As I neared the Lincoln Park/Wyandotte border a few spits of rain landed on my glasses, then started dotting my clothes, so I turned around and headed for home which was about a mile away. As the drops intensified into a light drizzle, I hurried along, hastening my trip by taking a speedier, rather than a more-scenic route home. I came upon a corner lot where lilac trees in various shades of purple and cream lined the privacy fence. They towered way over the top of the fence and spilled over, their aromatic blooms filling the humid air with an overpowering scent, just like opening a fresh packet of potpourri. I would have liked to linger a little longer but I walked quickly to avoid getting soaked.
But, soon the sky opened up and I got rained on – bigtime. So, there was no need to hurry anymore as I was soaked. When I arrived home, I went into the backyard to check out my own lilac trees that finally have bloomed, but are now too tall and not within reach to snip off enough bloom-filled branches to make a bouquet to take indoors. Out back, the air smelled faintly of lilacs, though not as intense as that corner house where the height of the trees was about par with my nostrils.
I took stock of my own backyard, which, right now is largely overgrown and raggedy looking from the recent spate of 80-degree heat and all the rain, plus everything is in “new-growth mode” … uh, where did all the Forget-Me-Nots come from?
Last year, on the opposite side of the yard, I planted a couple of seed packets of Forget-Me-Nots, thinking only 1/3 of them would take and actually grow into plants, and what did thrive would brighten up the early Spring garden and complement the lilacs and clematis. I must admit I was swayed by the seed packet’s picture of an old-fashioned nosegay and decided the Forget-Me-Nots would be a pretty and practical addition to that small, bare corner of the backyard. But, as you know … you can’t judge a book by its cover, and the same goes for the illustration on a seed packet. Just like a few years ago, when my Russian Mammoth Sunflowers that had promised 10 or 12-foot stalks with 1-foot wide sunflowers, and got to maybe 5-6 feet at best with punier flower heads, these plants were also a disappointment since they are not contained in one small area of the garden, but instead are so invasive that they have encroached all over the entire yard in just a matter of days. They are worse than the wild ivy or Creeping Charlie and already reach my knees. What the …? They were here, there and everywhere but where they were supposed to be. … on the opposite side of the yard. I caught them climbing up the side of the air conditioner as well as hunkering down in between the roses and hydrangeas and seemingly choking them. I grabbed a few handfuls of those blasted blooms that were tickling the grille of the A/C and the rest I’ll banish later.
For now, I’ll let them think they have outsmarted me … this time. Yup, the biggest garden misnomer of all are Forget-me-nots because they are sure forgettable.