But this week is Mother's Day, a benchmark if you grow spring bedding plants or run a flower shop; the high water mark of the gardening season most years. Our short but busy retail season will peak this week and quickly decline. But during the next week, we'll be visited by lots of moms, daughters, husbands, and sons, all in pursuit of flowering happiness for mom's day.
I won't see my mom on Mother's Day; I may not even see my mother-in-law, but I'm pretty certain to see my two daughters, if for no other reason than they will probably come water and work at the greenhouse on Mother's Day.
Over the years, we've run the gamut: one ridiculous Mother's Day, the family joined every other family in a four state area at a smorgasbord at the Tall Corn Motel. The kids were little; I assume it was just Lee and Ann at that point, because the luncheon date was Grandma Hurst's idea, I think.
One Mother's Day, Blake delivered plants to one Omaha Earl May and I took a whole load of baskets to another Omaha Earl May, leaving the greenhouses alone and unwatered for the whole Sunday. Several Mother's Days have been rainy and....well, rainy. On those days, we've paid bills, taken care of a few late customers, and felt miserable for our garden center customers. One Mother's day weekend in particular, it rained so hard that a flash flood occurred down in the #13 and #14 greenhouse. We pulled orders, but mostly we attempted to rescue flats of flowers pulled below the surface by the undertow.
On a couple of those cool damp Mother's Days, I've ridden to Lincoln with Blake delivering plants. He and I don't go many places together this time of year; not even home usually, so a plant trip is a bittersweet proposition. It means we aren't as busy as we probably should be, but still enjoying a chance to sit and ride (me) and a chance to ride and not drive (Blake).
Blake always takes Millie along on a plant trip sometime around Mother's day; after all, she has the double celebration of birthday and Mother's Day. She gets to pick out whatever catches her fancy and Blake gets to spend four uninterrupted hours with his mom.
When Ben was younger, he would bring a corsage from the Flower Mill and I would wear it with my work clothes most of the day. I still have one of the posies in my kitchen, a remembrance of a thoughtful little boy, proud of his initiative and his gift.
Several years ago, we did leave the greenhouses and customers to themselves and attended church on Mother's day. That was the day the three little babies were dedicated on Mother's Day. Gabe, Lizzie, and Abbie, all received baby quilts from the loving hands of their Grandma Millie and Jayne. What a loving and touching remembrance for all moms, new and old.
Millie always took turns with her other siblings in hosting Grandma Nelson for Mother's day. Even in the midst of planting season, we would get together for supper, one big dirty working family, in honor of the moms.
On a Mother's day years ago, my mother and I went to Katy's Station restaurant in Columbia for lunch. I don't remember stumbling over the news, but I do considering the import of what I had to tell her: that Blake and I were engaged.
Last year my lovely family hired help to clean up the sticks and debris from the flower gardens. I felt pretty guilty about leaving the work undone for someone else to haul off, but thoroughly appreciated the impulse to give a gift specifically designed for me.
Not that I need anything. Sure, this is the season of unrelenting work. But today I got a long newsy note from Kenzie with news of the family in Virginia. And the rest of us worked together. Sure, its not a golf game, or a picnic, or a cruise, or even a barbeque. But the weather was perfect; the sky dramatic; the work rewarding; the kids were loud and jolly.
Porgy sings, 'I Got Plenty of Nuthin', a gentle reminder to be thankful for what we've got. Well, I got alot of baskets to haul this week, but I'm not complainin'.