And with it my first published story in two years. Go. Read. (It’s free.) Then, if you missed it and if you like, there’s a bit of background on “The Garden of Sons and Husbands” here.**
* Or so they say. I am not so sure. El-Niño-birthed weather patterns mean it’s been dismal in the southern Willamette Valley: grey, chilly, rainy—oh, the rain. Until this week there hasn’t been a stretch of more than four days without it since December, I think, and I don’t trust the current sunny respite.
Or maybe I’m just still in a dismal, wintry mood, unable or unwilling to appreciate the springiness in the air. Because the truth is the winter 2015-16 was thoroughly unpleasant. I was sick, so sick, from mid-December until…well, officially I’m mostly recovered and convalescing on schedule but I wouldn’t say I’m well. A few words: Pneumonia. Pleurisy. Empyema. Three weeks ago I was in hospital with a tube in my chest and IV fluids and antibiotics dripping into my veins. Since then I’ve had a fancy catheter in my right arm for the daily outpatient infusion of yet more weapons-grade antibiotics—scheduled to come out this afternoon. Finally, thank merciful and compassionate God, I’ll be able to take a shower.
So, yeah. It’s been ugly and I have accomplished little these four months besides attempting to regain my health.
So there’s my excuse for not posting anything here since early December.
And here, because we could all use some cheering up and my deck garden has been performing in despite of the weather, some photos of flowers. Flowers are good.
Crocuses, 25 January. Their second spring.
A single snowdrop, 4 February. A disappointment—only one of last spring’s flowered though they all came up, and only one of the five bulbs put in this past autumn survived.
Reticulated iris, 4 February. Repeats from last spring.
Wood violets, 16 March. Another disappointment: they’re clearly labelled Viola odorata yet possess no fragrance whatever. But pretty.
Iceland poppy (rather storm tossed), 16 March. I sowed the seeds last spring but nothing ever came up, saddening me. Then, when I was cleaning out that box in the autumn I discovered two sprouts and decided to see if they’d make it through the winter. As you see, they did.
Second Iceland poppy, newly opened and in context, 16 March. Reticulated iris in foreground, slowly opening anemone to the right.
Close-up of lemon-yellow poppy, 16 March. Presently there are five buds to look forward to.
Rosemary, 16 March. Of all the many rosemaries I’ve owned over the years, the first to flower for me.
Pucshkinia, 27 March. I thought they’d be taller. (I also never thought all the clarkia seed sowed in the fall would be up so far so early.)
Stocks, 27 March. Survivors from last summer.
First anenome, 27 March. A bit past its prime. Two more on the way, one apparently the same blue.
Tulip magnolia (left, and a happier specimen in the neighbor’s yard beyond the fence) and lilac in the downbelow, 30 March. Poor things would benefit from pruning. I don’t know what the purple masses in the left foreground are but they’re certainly cheerful.
Flowering plum trees out the bedroom window, 31 March. Tasty plums, too.
Primrose and I don’t know what, 31 March. The primrose survives from winter before last when I had multiple specimens potted in the living room to alleviate the gloom. The other thing I first believed another puschkinia, although I didn’t recall planting any in that box, but on closer inspection, no. Perhaps a triffidling.
** [That fourth 2015 story meant to be completed by New Year’s? Ha ha, no, alas. I was allowed a generous deadline extension but even so. Stupid narrative chose to become complicated and to address issues far outside the brief. Perhaps I’ll finish it one day, perhaps not, but in any case it won’t appear in the intended anthology.]