Monday 30 April 2012: No Thank You
Last year, after returning from Haiti, I gave myself the goal of getting our backyard to look less like an abandoned lot and more like a place where we can entertain and enjoy ourselves, a place surrounded by gardens. I am still working on this goal, but it has been gratifying to see some of my efforts paying off this spring. My stepmother, who has an amazing green thumb, had offered me many of her perennials to plant along my fence. In her generous mix of flowers, there were three types of iris. Last week they started to bloom. My stepmother never allowed me to thank her for these garden gifts. She believes in the old wives' tale that "you should never thank someone for sharing plants with you, but you can always say I appreciate that or I will give them a good home." My guess is that it's similar to how in Vietnam you cannot compliment a child's beauty for fear it will bring harm to him or her, fear that it draws the attention of evil spirits. So, I told my stepmother when I carted off the plants that I would "give them a good home." So far I have kept my word.