Friday, May 9, 2014
This is a little longer than most posts. I wrote a short story about the history of a plant in our yard that I didn't plant. I hope you enjoy it. Lora
May 1878, Five miles west of Smithville, Missouri
Sarah Anderson dribbled water onto the cloth surrounding a wilting vine. She could kick herself for letting it dry out. If Mama’s precious wisteria died, Sarah would bear the loss for the rest of her life. There’d be no going back to Virginia to get another cutting.
“Sarah?” Her husband, Will, held the hand of their toddling son. “You about finished? Little Ralph needs a diaper change, and we need to get this wagon unloaded.”
Sarah bobbed her head. “I hope it makes it. I’ve done my best to nurse it along.”
“I don’t know anybody better with plants than you are. You’re gonna be handy to have here on the farm.” He gave her the dimpled grin that had won her heart three years ago. “I know the train would’ve been faster, but the freight prices would’ve cleaned us out.”
“You don’t have to explain. I remember our reasons. It hasn’t been as bad a trip as some I’ve heard. The ferry over the Mississippi—that was pretty hair-raising, but the rest has been uneventful. We’ve been very blessed.”
A welcomed rain shower splashed onto the purple-flowered vine climbing the fence. Looking out the farmhouse’s front window, Wilma Anderson whispered a prayer of gratitude. The dry spring had her new husband, Albert, fretting somethin’ awful. No rain meant no crops and no repairs to the roof. Wilma smiled as his brawny hands traced her waist and pulled her into a solid embrace.
“You’re as grateful for the rain watering that worthless wisteria vine as you are for it saving the corn crop.” His warm breath tickled her neck. “Wisteria don’t put food on the table, you know.”
“I know, but it puts joy in my soul. Your dad would grieve if his mama’s plant died.”
“Yeah, he would. I’d be kinda sorry myself.”
Wilma stroked Albert’s stubbly cheek. He acted tough in front of folks, but deep down, he was quite a softie. She was so very blessed.
“Bill, could you cut out this rotten vine on the fence-row?” Lora Young brushed the hair from her eyes and shoved the garden trowel back into the tool bag. “It’s wrapping itself around my lilies, and I’m afraid it’s going to kill them. I’d do it myself, but there’s poison ivy in there too.”
“Let me grab the brush cutter.” He opened the shed and got to work.
Thirty minutes later, the once robust vine had been trimmed back to a few straggly bits clinging to the wire fence.
Not many husbands would have so readily done that job. Bill was first among her many blessings..
Lora looked out the passenger seat window as Bill slowed to turn in the driveway. She frowned. “What are those flowers on the fence-row?”
Bill leaned forward. “Don’t know. Let’s take a look.”
A few minutes later, after getting her little girl out of the booster seat, Lora followed Bill and their two boys across the lawn. As she walked, a heavenly fragrance filled her nostrils. Deep green leaves covered twenty feet of the fence. Clusters of purple florets hung like grapes and dotted the vine
“This is the vine you trimmed last year.” Lora set down her wriggling daughter and fingered the dangling flowers. “Cutting it back must have encouraged it to bloom, and now we get to enjoy the blessing it brings.”
Could it be that God’s pruning will help us bloom?
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