Of Garden Greens… and Birthday Blues

The other day, my dear friend turned 55. And what a day it turned out to be! I’d bought 5 birthday cards to give to Holly on her 55th birthday—but in the end, I didn’t give her even one. It was that kind of a day, folks!

I awakened in the early morning to the irksome throb of my cell phone. I squinted at the clock and groaned. “What do you want…?” I said into the phone.

“Today is my Birthday!” said the voice on my celly. “And I need help in my garden!”

“WHAT….?” I lurched upright in my bed. “Today is your birthday?” But of course! My friend had been telling me for weeks, but somehow I’d forgotten.

Holly has been my friend for a long time, now. The woman is strange…funny…absurd…upside-down and backwards. She’s “Crazy Holly.” Like me, she’s a Country Girl living in the City. With blue eyes and long blonde curls, she’s every inch a Lady—but she has the memory of an elephant….and most of the time she’s just a tad bit nicer than a mad Badger.

She really won’t beat you up, though. She just threatens.

Unfortunately for me, today was her Birthday—her most important Birthday! And I’d forgotten all about it!

I struggled out of bed, threw on my clothes and grabbed a handful of birthday cards. I snagged a Cake-mix and a can of Frosting on my way out the door.
When I arrived at her house, I found Holly in tears. In lacy pink pajamas, she was standing in the front yard looking utterly forlorn, her long golden mane blowing in the breeze.

A wheelbarrow of dirt had spilled its contents nearby, and Holly was clearly at the end of her rope.

“Everything is going wrong on my birthday,” she sobbed. “Look at the chaos!”

Her ornate fencing was smashed. Her normally immaculate yard was a mess. A huge heap of manure-dirt was piled in her usually spotless driveway. (No one is allowed to park there, because the car might emit a drop of oil. There’d be all Heck to pay!)

Holly is just a bit OCD. And today, she was beside herself.

I took the birthday supplies inside the house, then helped her clean up the yard and driveway. I shoveled dirt and straightened fencing, while trying to sort out the details of what had happened.

It seems that Holly’s kindly neighbor—a one-armed man who lived nearby—offered to bring her a truckload of soil for her large Garden Box….A tidy Garden Box that knows how to behave itself!

Well. Everything started going haywire when Holly’s one-armed neighbor couldn’t back his truck into the confined area. He ended up running over the decorative fencing and smashing everything.

Little piles of dirt and manure were dribbled everywhere. In mere moments, he had managed to foul up the Perfection in Holly’s life—and it had happened on her birthday! Her 55th birthday.

It was a mid-life Crisis in the making.

“Is this the way it’s going to be?” Holly moaned. “My life as a ‘Senior’…? If it’s this bad already, what will the rest of it be like?”

“Oh, it gets worse,” I assured her cheerily, scooping up piles of dirt. “Just ask me. I’m 55-and-a-half…And I know! But at least you’ll get your Senior Discount!”

We sorted and sifted and shoveled and straightened until, at last, we got the chaos under control.

Holly slung back her long golden mane and brushed the dirt off of her lacy pink pajamas. She sighed. “Time for birthday cake!” she said.

“But I didn’t make your cake yet!”

“Well…I did,” said the resourceful Ms. Holly. “Made it while you weren’t looking! Only took a minute to pop it in the oven.”

“You made your own birthday cake?” I said.

Holly just smiled.

And so it was…with dirt still beneath our fingernails, we sat down to a hastily baked Birthday cake. We slurped cold milk and relaxed in the sunshine while the tidy Garden Box did exactly what it was supposed to do.

The earthworms ruminated with the fresh soil. The veggie seeds soaked up moisture….And the Sun did what it was supposed to do, too. It shined and shined and shined.

It had to….

Today was Holly’s most important Birthday!

 

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