This Father’s Day, when I was thinking about my Dad, I thought of these flowers–Gladiolus.
We had the most ENORMOUS garden growing up. Lots of fruits and vegetables. Lots of work. But he made sure that we also planted plenty of the purely decortative.
I do not know how he managed all of this: working a corporate job and coming home to a family. Chopping wood for our fireplace and stove. Being a leader in Boy Scouts. Leading a healthy lifestyle in exercising. Even having plenty of creative hobbies.
He worked hard and played hard. And somehow even managed to relax hard, too!
But back to the flowers–plenty of flowers. Mainly annuals. Which provided a particular joy. Because they grow and live for a finite period of time, they are meant to be used and appreciated. These were crops for cutting and bringing inside, just as much as for leaving in the ground to pretty up the yard.
My Dad’s crowning achievement was his row of Gladioli that ran the span of our backyard. Tall, jaunty and hearty. The wondrous irony (in retrospect) is that on the other side of that flower-row, was a local farmer’s field. Of beautiful (though monotonous) aisles of corn and/or soybean crops. Practical. But lacking in such random, ephemeral glee.
Dad loved his Glads. Gaudy, impractical flowers that defied any vase-of-conventional-size.
And I loved them too. But not one speck as much as I love the man who took such care and oh-so-much time to make them grow.
I love you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.