On one of our morning walks, an elderly man smiled and waved while he watered his front flowerbeds.
When I snapped out of my eyes-glued-to-phone trance (guilty) and asked him how he was, he said, “Worried my flowers will die from all this heat! I’ve given up on watering my yard. You like those flowers?”
He gestured toward two bush-like clumps – one yellow, one orange. I wasn’t sure which one he was talking about, so I enthusiastically answered, “Yes, they’re beautiful!”
(Photo taken from a page on the Bexar County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service site – thanks for sharing this info!)
“Would you like some seeds? Hold on a minute.” He scurries into his garage and I’m standing in his driveway for enough time to make me wonder if he’d collapsed somewhere in there and I should go find him. Thank goodness I have A in the stroller so I’m not just standing there… I don’t know what to do with my hands….rock the stroller back and forth and look normal…. (gosh I’m not very comfortable just “being” 91% of the time).
He finally reappeared, said he couldn’t find the seeds, but that he would put them out for me on his front porch. “Come back by here – there will be a medicine bottle on my front porch full of seeds – those are for you!”
I’m thinking, ummm great. Some random medicine bottle with his confidential prescription info on it and pill-like seeds in it and I’m just supposed to take them off his porch?! Thanks but no thanks, sir. Smile and nod.
I introduced A to him, and he thought I said her name was “Anna Lee.” Said that’s also the name of a famous ship in the Mississippi? Must research.
We then discussed everything that seemed to pop into his mind, from his service to our country (Armed Forces, Postal Service, Social Security Administration), to his pride in ensuring all grandkids made it through college (and now he’s working saving for his great-grandchildren), to his wife’s passing in 2006 from Alzheimer’s and how hard it’s been on him. He said he’ll be 91 this year – OH MAY I PLEASE REMEMBER to bring this sweet soul a card on December 17th!
We parted ways and were probably 5 gone for minutes, down on another street when I hear, “ANNA LEE!!! ANNA LEE!!!” I turn around to see Mr. Fisher on a bicycle (photo below – HOW CUTE IS THIS?!?!).
With a childlike enthusiasm and a very proud “I found them!” he handed me a medicine bottle marked “Pride of Barbados” with the seed count noted on the side. He gave me planting instructions and told me to pass the rest of the seeds on to my friends once I was done and to take care. Just like that, he took off and headed back to his house.
So I’m going to plant me some Pride of Barbados seeds out of this medicine bottle and see what happens. Anyone else want to join me?? I have 51!!