Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Planting daffodils, growing friends


I calculate that this is the 25 or 26th year that I have participated in daffodil planting or viewing at our friends' weekend home near Mariposa, which is in the Sierra foothills on the way to Yosemite National Park. Their property is 30 acres of rolling hills covered with oak and pine--with beautiful granite outcroppings that seem to sprout from the earth.

When Bob and Lorinda first purchased the property, there was no house on it. They would sleep, and we all would cook and eat, in a small trailer that I have always thought of as an "I Love Lucy" reject. The little trailer was gradually sinking into the ground, but we all loved it. We enjoyed sitting on padded benches at the tiny Formica table while eating appetizers and drinking wine and  catching up on life and attempting to solve the world's problems. If it was December, we celebrated Lorinda's birthday; if it was March, we celebrated mine.

The first time I visited, I camped out in my tiny tent. When Ralph came into my life, the accommodations changed a bit. We would drive up in his pickup truck and sleep in the camper shell on the back. Our routine was to drive up on a Saturday, stroll around the property, visit, and retire. The next morning, usually after an indulgent breakfast of breakfast rolls, fruit, and coffee, we either looked for the shovels and decided where we would do our daffodil planting (fall) or went off in search of the yellow blossoms (spring). When planting, I rather enjoyed the division of labor. Ralph and Bob would dig holes for the bulbs, Lorinda and I would stand by until it was our turn to help--then we would drop one or two bulbs into each hole.

Several years back, Bob and Lorinda decided it was time to move from the little trailer, and they had a manufactured home brought in. I guess we have all gotten a bit more spoiled--the house is simply more comfortable and roomy.

However, our birthday/daffodil tradition has continued unchanged. Last weekend we once again found ourselves planting 100 bulbs (in the rain) and I know that we will be back up there in March to see them in full bloom.

There is a lot to be said for tradition and long-time friendships!

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