Monday, June 7, 2010

Matriarchs of Spring

Peonies are so yesterday's news. I know.

For me, these gals were very nearly an apparition.

They unfurled the day before we left for our Memorial Day trip and when we returned, they were lying there so forlorn, their petticoats an atrocious sight, scattered in heaps at their feet of green.

I knew it was bound to happen, but I was still a little sad.

Do you ever think we're all so enamored of peonies because they are so fleeting?

Or maybe it's because they are just so luscious. So perfect. So Belle of the Ball.

Maybe it's that.

At any rate, I'm glad they stopped by to say hello. They're nothing if not consistent. They know how we pine for them. They know they are our secret handshake that it's officially time to stuff the freezer with popsicles and paint our toenails.

I look at mine and wonder how long they've been here. I like to pretend that they were planted when the foundation was being poured, a hundred years ago. I think of them as old ladies. Is that ok? So, I extend them a bit of grace. I understand that they are tired and frail. It's alright that they can't stay long, that they wilt in the heat, that they droop in the rain, that they're losing their hair.

They are the very picture of old fashioned charm and elegance. Oh Lordy, do they ever frown at my ball-caps and flip-flops, of this I'm sure.

But, I'm a young'un, so I'll bet they extend me a bit of grace. I'll bet they snicker at my country-girl faux pas. They probably fell off their rockers when they heard about my pie crust.

We coexist happily here -- two generations of ladies, born in different times, but with a shared appreciation for soil the color of a chocolate cookie, lemonade sun and the perfect shade tree.

For now, they're off to wherever it is they go, playing bridge and wearing pearls with coral lipstick.

Until next time, Lovies...

53 comments:

  1. You so good! Its is so true! Lovely photos! Love your poetry in words! ~lulu

    ReplyDelete
  2. You just described precisely how I feel about lilacs. Kinda makes me want to breath one in. Waiting on May...

    ReplyDelete
  3. You should be writing for a living my friend you are so very good at it!!!!
    My peonies are just now starting to bloom...it has been a very cool and wet spring. They are so pretty and one of my very favorite things!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this post! Your photos are always lovely, I especially liked that you included the one with the ant, most people would leave that out! However it is your writing that always leaves the biggest impression on me, you really are talented. Have a great week!
    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  5. Peonies are my favorite sign of spring - my grandma had them all over her farm so they remind me of her.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Peonies are my absolute fav! I'm glad someone else loves them as much for all the right reasons. Mine came on early this year, and left SO soon. Great pictures of yours!

    ReplyDelete
  7. My peonies haven't even opened yet. We are a bit behind everyone up here in Wisconsin. They are one of my favorites. My mom had them on our farm when I was growing up. Lilacs too.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just love your writing. It's like dessert for a girl who loves words.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love peonies too. They are my favorite, wish they were re-bloomers. I also love that my 86 year old mom calls them pineys. Is it a regional thing? I have to fight the inclination to call them that too. Maybe in 20 to 30 years I will just call them that too! I love your blog and I agree you could be doing this for a living. Thanks for the beautiful words!

    ReplyDelete
  10. We just moved to a new house and I had peonies for the first time. I had no idea they would disappear so quickly. But they were gorgeous while they lasted!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your posts are always so lovely. I am still waiting for my Peonies to bloom, too! What is up with ants and those beautiful blooms? Mine are COVERED in them. So glad to know I am not the only one with the problem:). It is funny that they are so fragile, yet I don't see any damage from the little black crawlies.

    ~Julia

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's true. I love them so much. And that was beautiful, really beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh goodness me girl. Write a book...seriously. You are such a poetry and prose person. I would buy it. I would!

    BTW got your note and I'm going to email you a bunch of really awful pics of myself so you know that I'm not as photogenic as you think;)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh - I'm so with my Mom except I do call them Pineies - geez - Grandma Toots has rubbed off a bit too much on me!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am enamored with your descriptive writing. Just love it. I am a city girl who has moved to the country just two years ago. I'm trying to learn names of flowers and such. Anyway, noticed that you're in IN and wanted to say hey since I grew up in Indy, but am a Carolina girl now. Well, my blood hasn't changed, but my two little girls can throw out some extra Southern syllables at times!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love this. And my peonies totally died before I even knew they were there. so sad.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Waiting on my own pink ladies. They are definitely toward, if not at, the very top of my spring flower list. Love them. Love your ladder, too.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Seiously....what will it take for you to write a book? At least a book of poetry (with pictures).

    I have always associated peonies with old ladies. I think it may have something to do with my grandma having our pictures taken by them every year during the flowers' short visit.

    Keep your musical words coming! ♪♪♫♪♫♪

    ReplyDelete
  19. seriously girl, where do you come up with this stuff! You're so very clever.

    ReplyDelete
  20. yours words just danced across my screen tonight. What a beautiful post.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "playing bridge and wearing pearls with coral lipstick"
    I LOVE IT!
    Sometimes you make me so happy, it's like ice cream to come here. Sigh. Back. to. reality. But it was a nice break. I'll never look at peonies the same. ever.
    Were we both in "outside" moods today?

    ReplyDelete
  22. my peonies haven't bloomed yet...but yours are just beautiful!!! Love them:)

    ReplyDelete
  23. well said my friend
    & yes, they are the belle of the ball

    ReplyDelete
  24. My older, single neighborman has a pink peony bush that I spy on every day. They have yet to open (the sun seems to be neglecting the this year), so I am anxiously awaiting them to open up so I can snatch them up for my old Ball jar. Do you think the gorgeous flowers so you wonderfully described will mind an old Ball jar? I sure hope not. Because they look beautiful there.

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Aaaaahhh...Peonies, they are so luscious and beautiful, and yes so fleeting! I love the image that you painted. So pretty...

    ReplyDelete
  26. LOVE how you described these ladies...in the South ours usually show up for Easter...so I'd imagine they are drinking sweet tea as they play bridge in pearls. Beautiful words.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Well said, my friend. You have a way, let me tell you...

    ~mary~

    ReplyDelete
  28. Beautiful, just beautiful... I love your words so much. Almost as much as I love peonies... ;) I've visited before, but am now your newest follower!

    ReplyDelete
  29. From one old lady: loved your post. Glad the flowers still have beauty! Big Grin!

    Blessing,
    Linda J

    ReplyDelete
  30. These were such perfect words for something so simple & beautiful!
    Our semi-old home was in quite a state when we moved in two years ago. We've done a lot of work, inside and out, but I still have so many open flower beds from plants that had to be taken out. Peonies are definitely going in one of them next year for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  31. What a great outlook on such lovely flowers. I hate the way they just show up and leave so quick...I thought a bit snooty, but now I see them as frail old ladies who are oh-so graceful.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Love your characterization! My mom has an unusual fuscia-colored one, transplanted from my grandmother's home, transplanted from HER mother's home in the river bottoms...I don't have one of those yet, b/c Mom's aren't established enough to divide. But I'm looking forward to having those heirlooms blooming in my yard someday.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Ok... you SERIOUSLY need to write a book!!! You are so creative with your words and pictures.

    Your blog is one of my favorite places to visit!!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I hope the people around you know how lucky they are!!! You really are a gift!
    I'd love to see more pictures of your garden...

    God Bless

    ReplyDelete
  35. I was thrilled when your post became a peony personification of little old ladies. It was a wonderful read. What a talented lady you are. Just stopping by from Chatting At The Sky, and will definitely be returning.
    So glad I found your blog,
    Dana

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm with Christy! And regarding the pie crust...I used to be able to make them until I had a Martha Stewart flop, then I started to think to much when I made them, so a dear friend gave me her grandma's never fail crust, and so far it's been just that. Let me know if you want it!

    xoxox
    Char

    ReplyDelete
  37. I'm so glad I found your blog - and am now following. Peonies are so amazing. I got to picking a bouquet from my bush a little too late, and it wasn't even a day when all the petals started to fall.

    I LOVE their velvet-y feeling, like oh-so-soft fabric... all gathered up in my hand. I had to think of this as you were describing them as belle of the ball.

    I agree with everyone else. You need to write a book... and you are, in a way... that's why I LOVE reading your blog. Thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. You so made me smile with this post.
    And I love peonies. Especially the white ones.

    ( I've "seen" you at Emily W's place , so hello officially).

    ReplyDelete
  39. This is so sweet. I love the metaphor, and I hope your old ladies are off somewhere wearing bright red hats and gossiping with their friends. Surely they've earned it. :)

    Thanks for visiting my place today!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I just bought a painting of peonies so that I could have them year round, my best friend is the artist, maybe I can talk her into doing another one.....yes?

    ReplyDelete
  41. "Pine-ees" as my grandmother Laurel Onalee called them. She had glorious white and pink in the front of her farmhouse yard. We have a few around our yard, too. I remember picking the blooms from her (bushes?) and getting a good scolding! I've picked some of our blooms over the years and inadvertently given about 672 ants a pleasant new dwelling place in our dining room. OOPS. Now I just leave the "old ladies" outside for every passerby to enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
  42. 'So luscious, so perfect, so bell of the ball.'
    Excellent description of them.
    Very very enjoyable post.
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Peonies are a favorite for me too. For once my peonies bloomed for days and days and faded without being beat to a pulp by the spring rains.

    I'm glad to know that they play bridge. I don't think I'll get that image out of my mind- can they be wearing twin-set sweaters too?

    ReplyDelete
  44. My are just blooming... I'll look upon them in a different light now.
    That was beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Words that reach out and grab you, a bumpkin's kinda girl!
    Nice to meet you, found you through my Wildflower buddy, Lori!
    You have a new follower.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Where was I when you were growing up??!! I guess it helps my humility to know how beautiful you can describe something ,we often take for granted,and yet know I can no way take credit for it. Please tell me, you will think of writing a book someday soon....I know you have tons of time on your hands.

    ReplyDelete
  47. LOVE this. and i LOVE my peonies, my little old ladies... and i sob when they leave.

    (ps. thank you for praying for trent. he got the job! how is cory?)

    ReplyDelete
  48. I simply adore peonies pink is my color! I have a cute Hydrangea lucky you! Its in a struggle but doing well.:) Love your photos!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Just gorgeous. So glad I found your blog! Lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Beautiful word pictures. It's too hot with too much direct sun where I live for those lovely peonies. I tried because I love them so, but alas, it was for naught.

    ReplyDelete
  51. "secret handshake"--I love that! And, don't tell, but coral lipstick is on my to-buy list. My Avon catalog is open to the page on my kitchen table right now! I'm so granny!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Came here via Dana.

    I love peonies, too. Inside, outside, on the kitchen table, in a huge white vase on the fireplace.

    Beautiful and boastful, and not shy about their beauty. They just scream it out,"I'm luscious."

    ReplyDelete