Altar Call Ė Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton -- April 18, 2004

 

In the spring, an old manís fancy turns to flowers

††††††††† Though it has been rather cool for a couple of days, spring is here and I love it. A young manís fancy may be love, but an old man turns to flowers. If you have trouble understanding that, wait until you are old. Then you will.

††††††††† New life is everywhere. Our Saw Tooth 0ak looked quite dead a month ago. Now it is 20 feet tall and covered with rich, green leaves. It was dead; now itís alive. Son Tim, the forester, gave it to me a few years back. He said we would love this tree. And he was right. I planted four running rose bushes on our split-rail fence two years ago. They are lovely and sturdy. Buds are gently unfolding, releasing each hidden rose. My dream is to have roses blooming all along the fence so our friends can enjoy them as they drive by.

††††††††† Rose food looks innocent enough, but I decided this year to spread a little manure around each plant. Manure does wonderful things for all kinds of plants. I learned that when I was a boy. When there was nothing else to do, Mama would always let me bring her another load of cow manure up from the barn. She used it liberally with her flowers just as Daddy used it to grow vegetables. Back then, no one ever bought a sack of manure. Now, without any cows, I have to pay a hefty price for it at the feed and seed stores.

††††††††† The Azaleas have been more beautiful than ever. Now the wind is scattering their blooms everywhere. Fortunately, the Azaleas do not all bloom at the same time. As some are fading away, others are just beginning to show off. That, I think, is a God thing. He puts some Azaleas on a delayed cycle so we can enjoy their multi-colored blooms for a longer time. That is just like God, always doing thoughtful things for his children.

††††††††† Over the years, we have enjoyed buying trees or plants on our anniversary. In the backyard of a home in Opelika there grows a large, stately Maple tree. We gave it to each other on our 40th anniversary. We enjoyed it for a while; now others have the honor. As we live our lives, we all do things that others enjoy after we move one. Thatís life.

††††††††† I saw our first Humming Bird of the spring Thursday. He was enjoying a bit of nectar offered by Deanís prized Buddleia plant, also called a Butterfly Bush. Its branches bear tiny lilac-purple flowers in late spring. We planted two of them; one lived. I guess we have half a green thumb.

††††††††† Near the Buddleia, we planted the Trumpet flower that Andy and Joyce White gave us. We planted it so it would have lots of sunshine. It is alive but not thriving; I said an extra prayer for it today. Plants respond to prayer, you know. Andy is such a good gardener; we want the Trumpet to bloom many times before Andy hears Gabrielís trumpet blowing for him. Andy says on a clear day he swears he can hear Gabriel clearing his throat as though he is getting ready to sound that trumpet for him. I reckon when he does, Andy will be ready to go. Last time I saw him, he said he had his bags packed, but did not want to depart right away.

††††††††† Outside my study window, once again the wall is covered with little white roses, being flung everywhere by the grandiflora bush rose that is now seven feet tall. New buds are opening it seems several times a day.

††††††††† Deanís six pansies are gorgeous. She has always wanted some but never bought any. Now she is hooked by a few. It is a good bet she will buy more before next winter. Pansies seem so delicate but thrive in cold weather. It must be another God thing.

††††††††† In our front yard, the Japanese maple tree is pretty now. Its color mingles beautifully with the red Azaleas in front of it. I took a picture of it and downloaded it into my computer. I actually learned how to do that! I could send you a picture of it if you wanted to see it and cannot come to see us. The Maple was another anniversary gift, but I forget which one, 45 maybe, but donít hold me to it.

††††††††† Our Dogwood trees have been dazzling this time. The Dogwoods and the Azaleas always make me think of how beautiful Opelika is in the spring.

Some of our Dogwoods are as tall as our house. I snapped a gorgeous picture of the Dogwood blooms with the blue sky as a background. The Dogwoods bloom and fade so quickly, it makes you wish spring lasted six months. But Father knows best. That is another of those God things I suppose.

††††††††† Our Confederate Jasmine has flourished, spreading over our Chinese Pavilion. We have enjoyed the bright yellow Jasmine flowers for several weeks. Good friends, Luke and Gerry Lanier, gave us a climbing rose that covers our trellis with lovely pink clusters that blend with the Jasmine.

††††††††† We have welcomed with great joy the cascading white petals of our Betty-Judy Gingles bush. This flowering plant means much to us, since Betty and Judy gave it to us two years ago. Mama called it a Grancy Graybeard. Now Betty has run ahead of us to the Fatherís House. We will never forget this precious friend as long as Crape Myrtles bloom in August and little birds sing in the spring.

††††††††† Today would have been the 51st birthday of our son David had he lived past three. I wonder if it is always springtime in heaven. Happy Birthday, Son. + + + +

 

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