Sunday, February 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Randall: A bouquet of memories about grandmother

By
From page B5 | July 21, 2014 |

My grandmother was a master gardener. She grew dahlias and chrysanthemums, sweet peas and hydrangeas, tomatoes and corn, green beans and squash, sustenance for body and soul.

She could make anything bloom. Even me.

For most of her life, she lived on a farm in the mountains of North Carolina, where she reared four children, buried a husband and took solace in the changing of the seasons, the constancy of Nature and the never-ending mysteries of life.

After my parents divorced, my dad moved back to the farm and worked at a nearby mill. I visited on weekends or holidays, whenever my mother allowed.

While my dad devoured my grandmother’s vegetables, I inhaled her flowers. There are different kinds of hunger. I was a skinny kid, never ate much. But her flowers filled a thousand hungry places in my soul.

My farm chores were few, but vital. I’d help my dad with the milking by holding the cow’s tail so it didn’t swat him in the face; scatter feed for the chickens and collect the eggs; dry the dishes for my grandmother and stand on my toes to put them away.

When my chores were done, I was free to roam the mountain singing songs, keeping an eye out for snakes and gathering an armload of blooms – both those she had planted and those that were, as she said, planted by the hand of God: wild azaleas and rhododendron, violets and pansies, Morning Glories that twined around fence posts in the pasture, Queen Anne’s Lace that grew in clumps by the road.

I also collected chiggers and ticks and other vermin that dug into my flesh and made me scratch like a flea-bitten hound.

My grandmother would dab liniment on the bites and say, “Beauty has a price. I hope it was worth it.”

“Yes, ma’am,” I’d say, “it was.” Then I’d scratch some more.

I loved gathering flowers on my own. But what I loved best was gathering them with her.

We’d hike for miles. She’d point to plants and rocks and birds and clouds while I trotted along behind her like a sponge with legs, trying to soak it all up.

At the end of the day, we’d sort the gatherings and choose our favorites to make bouquets: One for the living room, one for the kitchen and one each for our nightstands, hers and mine.

My dad said his room was too small for flowers, but I’d fill a Coke bottle to place by his bed.

Even then, as a child, I knew what I needed most from my grandmother was not her flowers, but her time.

She’s been gone for years, but still sometimes, when I reach down to pick a bloom or pull a weed, I see her hand, not mine.

I thought I’d grow up to be a gardener just like her. When my kids were small, I planted bulbs that got eaten by gophers. And pansies that got eaten by deer. And a whole lot of other stuff that just plain died. Finally, I gave up. I told myself, someday, when my children had children, I’d be a gardening grandma.

Then the grandbabies started showing up, and I discovered I’d much rather chase after them than go digging in the dirt.

The truth is, I’m no gardener. I spend more time pulling bags through an airport than weeds from a garden. I love watching things grow and bloom. But I’m a picker, not a planter.

I differ from my grandmother in lots of ways, but this: I will always carry within me a heart she grafted from her own.

I don’t need to plant a garden. My flowers are in bloom. Randy is a Tiger Lily. Henry is Morning Glory. Wiley is a Sweet Pea. Charlotte is Queen Anne’s Lace.

I wish you could see them.

They delight and exhaust and complete me with a kind of beauty that is worth any price.

All I need to do is tend them with time, water them with love, and hope that someday, when they hold their first grandchild, they just might see my hand.

Sharon Randall can be reached at P.O. Box 777394, Henderson, NV 89077, or on her website: www.sharonrandall.com.

Sharon Randall

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
 
Fire Department honors top firefighters

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Everything you need to know about Super Bowl

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
 
 
4th annual Health and Wellness Fair a big success

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Banish dry skin this winter

By Sarah Porkka | From Page: C4, 1 Comment

Chocolate: A long journey to deliciousness

By Karen Metz | From Page: C4

 
County board to consider DA reorganization plan

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Eurozone offers lesson in debt

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7

 
Rodriguez graduate completes basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Fairfield police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

From ocean to ocean, through the Panama Canal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Video: Islamic State group beheads Japanese journalist

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

NASA launches Earth-observing satellite

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
California health care contract fight resolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Man arrested after body parts found in suitcase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Scientist considered father of birth control pill dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Rolled Sleeves Bandit’ tied to 7 bank robberies in custody

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Bay Area agency accuses former official of embezzling $1.3M

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Los Angeles female-only mosque may be first in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Letter with suspicious powder received at Samaritan’s Purse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Snails slither into spa scene in Thailand and around world

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Not so ‘Good to Go’ when man gets $18,000 toll bridge bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Balloon pilots make history with trans-Pacific flight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Drivers: Return to your dealers for a 2nd air bag recall fix

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Hatfields, McCoys make moonshine legally in southern W.Va.

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Airport authorities: Traveler beats homeless man with chair

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kerry: ‘Enormous interest in new relationship with Cuba

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
5 given preliminary charges over jihadi network in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Fire devastates major Russian library, threatens rare texts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Swiss police: 4 dead after avalanche hits group of skiers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Fire at Bangladesh plastics factory kills at least 13

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Vatican investigates 2 cases of child porn possession

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Islamic State fighters admit defeat in Syrian town of Kobani

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
From car lots to city budgets, cheap oil means change

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Africa agrees to send 7,500 troops to fight Boko Haram

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
British actress Geraldine McEwan dies at age 82

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Greek leader tamps down rhetoric, vows to pay off debts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Civilians flee east Ukraine town as fighting intensifies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Iraqi libraries ransacked by Islamic State group in Mosul

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

Good old days weren’t as good as we remember

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoon: Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Feb. 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Feb. 1, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Prayer, commonly misunderstood

By The Rev. Rick L. Stonestreet | From Page: C3

 
Mormon leaders call for measures protecting gay rights

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Sundance doc pulls back curtain on Scientology

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: Feb. 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Volunteer or visit because February is National Salute to Veteran Patients

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Review: ‘First Bad Man’ is Miranda July’s debut novel

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Lorrie Moore nominated for short story prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

New book to feature unpublished Hemingway conversations

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Mustangs win the whole Encalada

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Super Bowl the final act of the NFL’s worst season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lowest prices on last-minute Super Bowl tickets near $9,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Seau, Bettis, Brown, Haley, Shields voted into Hall of Fame

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Rodgers wins MVP, Watt unanimous top AP defensive player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Lydia Ko takes No. 1 spot at 17, Na Yeon Choi wins opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Laird takes a 3-shot lead in Phoenix Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

Small talk: NFL players find second careers as entrepreneurs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
On the money: Low gas prices, incentives change math for electric cars

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Recalls this week: space heaters, orbital sanders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Sumptuous seaside hotel sells for record-shattering $360M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Review: Open e-book format comes with headaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Obituaries

Frank Z. Perez

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Joe Lambert Robinson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Flora Mae Brooks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Otilia (Tela) Quinn

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Lester Singer

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
WillIiam “Bill” Hunter

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Garry A. Britton

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Anthony Neal Hunley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics