"The RoseBouquet"

About and FOR friends of Ruthe's Secret Roses

"The RoseBouquet"

Birthday Adventures

My long-time Prayer Sister has her birthday just days before mine, so we have long tried to meet together in the days between or on one or the other birthday to celebrate together. She has long worked in a private care home for handicapped children (tho’ some are in their 20s and still lie in cribs like helpless babies.). For this reason she has only 15 people that she is allowed to see under strict precautions so that she doesn’t bring the virus into their “home”.

I felt honoured then, that she made a point of coming by with her gifts for me at 11:30. She wore a mask and I quickly put mine on too. We did not touch but visited a few minutes on the front steps, and then she wanted to see my garden, but would rather not walk through my house, so I hurried around from the back, and unlocked the gate at the side of my house. We stood in the garden and visited about our plants. (I have seen her garden other summers; it is more handkerchief size, but much more formal and with her plants looking elegant and exotic. Mine is more like an overgrown country garden like Gr’ma and Mom had).

One of her gifts was a small potted lavender plant – that really excited me as I had tried to sow lavender seeds by the east fence in my garden but there is no sign anything has come up there. (If they did, my rambunctious weeds pushed them out!)

Last year she had asked to buy an aloe vera plant from me for her mother-in-law, so I had decided that my gift to her would be two of my better-looking aloe vera plants and she was thrilled because her youngest daughter had been asking for one so she was planning to pass one on to her.

Anyway, back to my birthday adventures.

My neighbour/friend, Rita had invited me over for lunch. She felt that would be more affordable than buying any expensive gift. But I had put her off until my other friend called to say which day would suit her. Rita, had also had a birthday the week before and I had not gone to visit her with any card or gift yet. (and she has no email). She didn’t want me to buy anything for her since she couldn’t afford to do for me, so I had just wrapped a cardboard box with kitchen wallpaper and then put some pint and instant coffee jars in it as I knew she likes to make pickled beets, etc. When she gives those away she doesn’t always get her jar back. While I’ve got plenty to spare, and do not do pickling! Nor jamming.

I put this box with jars and my homemade card in my brown cart and went off to Rita’s as soon as Kathy left a bit after 12 noon. Rita was tickled with the jars, and she quickly warmed up some tomato/veggie/alphabet soup and heated some open-faced cheese-bun sandwiches, plus she had some egg-salad sandwiches too.

She remembered that on the phone a few days earlier she had promised to lend me her oscillating sprinkler device, as I had said I’d like to try one out before I bought it. Her small sandbox garden has not done very well this year, so she had no plans to use it. So I came home with hers, and a nice card she had bought.

Aside: it turns out that watering the garden with the oscillating sprinkler works quite well. Except that this one is of very light-weight plastic and creeps down the garden path when I’d like it to stay at one end for half an hour and then, that I could pull the hose to the other end. But this helps me to know that when I go to buy one I will choose a heavier model.

Anyway, I buckled down to work at the computer again once home, and got a bit of work done before the long distance birthday calls started to come in. First it was Aunt Jean in Toronto, and then her friend, Ruth, (who is also my friend) came on the phone and so… those 2 visits lasted about 3 hours.

I’d just made/eaten a fast supper and gone out to set up the sprinkler in the garden, after I’d quickly heaped more dirt around my tomato plants. The Roma tomatoes are tall enough for the wire cages to be put over them. Another lone tomato plant near the pumpkins is too. 2 or 3 other rows got a poor start because the weeds smothered them. But I’ve pulled weeds by hand for 3 weeks and now they may catch up yet.

We’re having a heat wave though for the last couple of weeks and probably for another 2-3 weeks, hence the urgency to water more.

Well, when I came back into the house Verna had called to wish me a happy birthday. I called her back, and that took nearly 2 hours.

I’d just dashed out to turn off the water when we hung and got back inside to do my weekly bookkeeping when Catherine phoned from London, ON. (where I lived from ’71-83). (I had all three of their daughters in our Pioneer Girls Club at church). That was another long phone visit, catching up with many things. (By the way, 2 of her daughters have twin boys).

I had checked emails in the afternoon, during and after the phone calls, and also in the evening, and among those emails, I found several e-cards. Those are always a lovely touch.

I heard from about a dozen friends, so I know I’m loved. I heard there are some cards coming in the mail too.

See? I tell everyone that my birthday is a season; it starts with the first paper card or e-card – often arriving a week or two ahead of time, and then continues until the last Belated Birthday greetings come in. So it’s not over yet! 🙂 It could last into September!

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