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Friday, June 03, 2011

Storms, Four O'Clocks, and Overalls

The storm Thursday night in Columbia was the fiercest I have seen in years. Two large oak trees snapped in the property behind my sister's house and took wires down with them. The wind had that loud whooshing sound it has when you worry about worse things...

I love sitting out in the carport or on a porch watching and listening to storms. This was a favorite past time of me and my dad when a good summer storm would whip up - and the more thunder and lightning the better. In later years in Greensboro I enjoyed standing on our little front porch with my daughters during a good storm - and sometimes when threat of lightning was passed running around in the rain!

I never realized how much I loved and missed the sound of wind rushing through tall Loblolly, Shortleaf, and Longleaf Pine trees. It's different. I like it.

Just before the storm hit the Trenholm Plaza area yesterday I spent an hour with a new friend and customer who lived nearby, walking around her garden and talking about what she would like to do in this place or that. In her back garden she had mostly white and blue flowers. I suggested she consider an old favorite of mine, a beautiful flower and plant I enjoyed as a child - Four O'Clocks, and white ones in particular. Four O'Clocks have beautiful foliage, a lovely flower that opens late in the day and through the night, and what I think is a wonderful and unique aroma.

And then there are the seeds, the little black hand grenade-looking seeds that are so easy to collect and sort and replant. I used to collect them in Dixie Cups as a kid, each cup labeled by the color of the flower from which the seed came.

Four O'Clocks grow in sun or part shade. They grow seemingly as an annual but propagate from their seeds and come back each year from an underground tuber.

I told the nice lady that I'd send her a picture of Four O'Clocks, but the only pics I could find had me in them! Here is one from 1977...

Joel and Four O 'Clocks 1977

I think overalls need to make a fashion comeback. Maybe if I lose 30 pounds they will look even cooler on me...Yes maybe my true calling is to be an overalls model...:-)

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